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      Balloons soar near Simpsonville for holiday events

      SIMPSONVILLE, S.C. (WACH/AP) -- Brightly colored hot air balloons will be flying over Simpsonville as part of an annual Memorial Day celebration.

      The Aloft Festival gets under way Friday and runs through Monday. The event was previously called Freedom Weekend Aloft and includes several stages featuring live music.

      There are also games and comedy performances. An activity zone features a zip line, obstacle course and climbing wall.

      "We want this to be a festival to be full of action and experiences, not just exhibits for people to see," Aloft board member Frank Skorzewski said in a release. "If we do our job well, attendees will have a hard time taking in all the attractions in one day."

      Balloon pilots say the event will provide a spectacular, colorful sight. They encourage people to come early and bring their cameras.

      The balloons are going to fly very early and very late in the day, so usually the first or last two hours of daylight is our operation time," said Tom Lattin, program coordinator for the REMAX Balloon Program of the Carolinas. "They're going to see these gentle giants floating throught the air and changing altitude and getting different wind direction. Depending on what type of competition is going to be called, you'll see us actually doing some compeitition flights."

      You can find more information about tickets and the event schedule on the Aloft website.