The possibility of 2 inches of rain Thursday has Thurston Classic hot air balloon event officials formulating contingency plans for the Joyce Stevens Memorial Night Glow that traditionally opens the four-day event at Allegheny College’s Robertson Athletic Complex in Meadville.
Ted Watts, who chairs the operations committee, balloonmeister Maury Sullivan and weather officer Bill Cloninger will hold a conference call at 8:30 a.m. Thursday and, if necessary, again at 2 p.m. to consider their options.
Those interested in attending should visit meadvilletribune.com, the Tribune’s Facebook page, thurstonclassic.com or the Thurston Classic Facebook page for updates. A decision on whether to reschedule will be made no later than 2 p.m., Watts said, with updates posted online soon after.
If the forecast remains unchanged, the Night Glow will be rescheduled for 9 p.m. Friday, following the competitive “Hare and Hound” flight that lifts off at approximately 6:30.
In the Hare and Hound flight, all 25 balloons inflate on the launch field and follow one balloon designated the “Hare” to a target that the hare decides upon. They then attempt to throw a baggie on the target.
Eight of the balloons, including "Rocket, the Flying Squirrel,” this year’s featured character balloon, are expected to take part in the Night Glow.
Other Thurston Classic events are scheduled for approximately 7 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Saturday and 7 a.m. Sunday.