Hot Air Balloon Festival
"This year: 2009 Oct.23-25 weekend"
"2nd largest nationwide hot air balloon show"
The hot air baloon show used to be an annual event (mid-September) in Stetesville, NC. It was said the second largest (New Mexico has the largest) in terms of the number of hot air balloons in the show. For the time we went years ago, there were 100+ hot air balloons, while in that year in New Mexico event, 600+.
With $5, you can fly with a crew up to 100 ft high vertically, or $100+ for an hour long cruise in the air.
On the day, you can see how each crew started up their balloons by blowing hot air (duh!) into the giant fabric 'pouch', how this giant sleeping beauty wakes up and stands up and eventually flies into the sky.
Hot air balloon tours are everywhere in the world, e.g. in the Loire Valley, France, or Cusco area, Peru.
I will put some photos here later.
This year, the special event info is here (time: June, 2004): http://www.statesvillechamber.org/nbr_04.htm