DANSVILLE — There was disappointment in the air as the balloons could not launch Friday evening.  The NYS Festival of Balloons made the call not to launch due to scattered thunderstorms in the area. 

However, a couple of the pilots made the call to do tethered rides. There was a very long line for tethered rides from eager festival goers.

Launch Crew Manager Brenda Robinson said that it is unusual to have two balloons willing to do tethered rides.

“Most of the time we will have tethered rides even if there is no launch,” she said. “I have never had two balloons do tethered rides before, so this is really exciting.”

Some wanted to participate in helping the pilots as part of the balloon crew. Others wanted to be part of the tethered rides.

There were about six balloons that stayed grounded, a couple being the Purple People Eater and Tweety.

Lynn Dollard, of Jamestown, said this was she and her family's second time coming to the festival. It was the first time they wanted a balloon ride.

“We just came down to see the balloons go up, and we thought it was going to be a clear night,” she said. “We are very excited to do the tethered ride tonight.”

Mark Dollard, Lynn’s husband, added that at the Wellsville Balloon Rally they enjoy talking to the pilots, and being allowed on the field to see the balloons. He was disappointed that the NYS Festival of Balloons keeps people away from the pilots and balloons.

“Balloon pilots are so friendly, and they all want to tell their story,” he said. “There were two sections open to the public, and we were allowed to talk to the pilots. They come from all over the country. Even though no balloons went up in Wellsville it was still cool to talk to the pilots.”

Lynn Dollard said that her son, Andy and daughter, Kelly were really looking forward to being in a balloon for the first time.

Miriam Teitsworth, of Groveland, said that her family has been flying balloons for about 40 years. She and her husband, Carroll, and three of their children, Lee, Lance, and Liana Haseltine all enjoy the family tradition.

“My daughter is taking people on tethered rides on The Majestic tonight,” she said. “My son Lee will fly the Purple People Eater. We stay close to the ground, so that if we need to we can deflate quickly.”

Robinson said she is happy about having a bigger launch crew this year, and there are several new members on board.

The launch crew hoped that the rest of the festival would go smoothly, and that there would be launches. The festival runs from Aug. 31 to Sept. 3.