March 25, 2021: 'Sky's The Limit' | Bloomfield-native talks journey of bringing father's story to screens
Alana Seldon / FOX61

Chantal Potter's first feature documentary, BALLOON MAN, explores the life of her dad Bill Costen, who became the first Black hot-air balloon master pilot.

February 25, 2021: Plainville's hot air balloon festival canceled for second straight year
Andrew Masse / Eyewitness News 3

"After much consultation and research, and in keeping with the core mission of the Plainville Fire Company to protect and preserve the safety of our community, the difficult decision to cancel was the only rational option for this years’ event," the fire department said in a statement.

April 20, 2020: Plainville Hot Air Balloon Festival Canceled This Year Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

"Due to the pandemic and its uncertainties, we are cancelling the 2020 Hot Air Balloon Festival," the Fire Company said in part in the post.

Sept 17, 2019: Chasing balloons and dreams 
Jo Ann Jaacks / Litchfield County Times

I eventually tracked down the origin of this beauty — Aer Blarney Balloons located in Bethlehem, Connecticut just a few miles away. Begorra — an Irish balloon airline practically in our neighborhood!

Aug 23, 2019: Hot Air Balloons Hit the Skies for Annual Plainville Festival
NBC Connecticut

The sale of food fried up and flipped by these firefighters and their families feeds right back into the community,

“We give about $8- or $9,000 a year away in scholarships. We also give a lot of donations to town athletic programs, high school programs and the food pantry,” said chairman of the event Jim Lenois.

July 27, 2019: Hot Air Balloon Lands in Backyard in Newington
NBC Connecticut

Jim Regan, the owner of CT Ballooning LLC, confirmed that he was piloting the balloon and that it was a routine landing.

March 22, 2019: Celebrating Women: Connecticut Women in Aviation (video)
Staff / News8 -

Kathy Wadsworth, of Farmington is an aeronaut who flew balloons over remote areas of the world.

In the 1970s, Kathy Wadsworth and a male counterpart flew hot air balloons all over the world including Venezuela achieving altitude, distance and duration records.

"It was challenging, I mean these areas that we were flying in were remote, one was Angel Falls, which is the tallest waterfall in the world, one was an Archipelago of 113 islands all around off the coast of Venezuela and the Caribbean," said Wadsworth.

November 5, 2018: Bill Costen, Master Hot Air Balloon Pilot And Former Footballer, Opens New Exhibit In Hartford Library
Matthew Ormsmith / Hartford Courant

September 26, 2018: Adk Balloon Festival draws large, enthusiastic crowd
Thom Randall / Sun Community News

Carol Silva, a crew chief of a balloon based in Mystic, Connecticut, expressed a similar thought about the festival. She and her partner Rick Silva were for years spectators at the festival, then her cousin bought the couple a balloon so they could participate in the sport — and the Adirondack Balloon Festival. This is the fourth year the Silvas have launched a balloon at the event.

“This is the best festival of all the ones we participate in, because it has so many spectators — and they are so enthusiastic,” Carol Silva said.

August 23, 2018: Hot Air Balloon Festival Returns To Plainville This Weekend
Bill Leukhardt / Hartford Courant

August 25, 2017: Plainville Hot Air Balloon Festival Lifts Off At Norton Park
Bill Leukhardt / Hartford Courant

July 16, 2017: Balloon Meisters: A Day in the Life of Hot Air Balloon Pilots
Sarah Rogers / Daily Beast

In the sleepy western Massachusetts town of Greenfield, thousands of festival goers flocked to the Green River Festival this weekend to enjoy music, food trucks, crafty vendors and hot air balloons.

Meeting at dawn to discuss the days plan, balloon pilots—all equipped with an FAA commercial license—and their crew members discussed winds, weather, and what to expect. Paul Sena, the balloon-meister of the festival, spent the day with The Daily Beast, showcasing the ins and outs of ballooning.

June 28, 2017: Goshen Hosts Inaugural New England Balloon Festival
Matt Ormseth / Hartford Courant

August 18, 2016: Party In Plainville: 3-Day Hot Air Balloon Festival Returns
Angie Derosa / Hartford Courant

July 2, 2015: Green River Fest: Music And Hot Air Balloons
Julia Werth / Hartford Courant

August 24, 2014: 2014 Plainville Fire Company's Hot Air Balloon Festival (Photo Gallery)
Patrick Raycraft / Hartford Courant

June 4, 2014: Hot Air Balloon A Surprise For Plainville Students
Bill Leukhardt / Hartford Courant

Pilot Frank Bart took the students and Principal Andrew Batchelder aloft in the wicker basket. The balloon rose about 100 feet and stayed there several minutes before descending for a gentle landing

August 24, 2013: Balloons Galore In Plainville (Photo Gallery)
Stephen Dunn / Hartford Courant

August 24, 2012: Plainville Balloon Festival (Photo Gallery)
Alex Syphers / Hartford Courant