Freedom Weekend Aloft brings balloons, fun back to Simpsonville


The 31st annual Freedom Weekend Aloft festival (FWA) will return to Heritage Park in Simpsonville over Memorial Day weekend. The festival will paint the Upstate’s skyline with multicolored hot air balloons May 25 – 28., thanks to a continued partnership with Greenville Hospital System University Medical Center (GHS). FWA is recognized for its signature hot air balloons and the four day concert series with previously announced concerts for 2012 including Colbie Caillat, Gavin DeGraw, Jake Owen, Eddie Money and more.

Ella the Elephant

Those keeping an “eye to the sky” will enjoy more special shaped hot air balloons during the 2012 flights then any previous year as the Purple People Eater will be joined by whimsical balloons from the animal kingdom as a flying elephant, zebra and Spunky the Skunk will fly daily.

Organizers announced that the 2012 event will offer more opportunities for individuals to enjoy free admission than anytime in the event’s 31 year history. This year individuals and families will enjoy Free Admission for the First 100 Minutes on Saturday and Sunday (May 26 & 27) from 12 Noon until 1:40 p.m.

Jerry Howard, FWA Chairman stated; “This is exciting to FWA’s volunteer leadership in that this will afford more families the opportunity to come and enjoy the event and event organizers also see this as a great opportunity to recognize and celebrate Greenville Hospital System’s Centennial Celebration”. Details on the First 100 Minutes Free offer can be found at

Free Admission will continue all day or 450 minutes on Memorial Day, Monday, May 28th as BI-LO Day returns. Memorial Day will be a time to celebrate our service men and women and organizers announced the theme of the day will be “We Love Our Country” and country music will fill the amphitheater as hot new country artists Love and Theft and Dustin Lynch headline the day.

As in previous years, FWA will be tobacco-free between noon and 5 p.m. daily, and Hillcrest Memorial Hospital will be onsite to provide first aid. The 2012 event will continue an all-inclusive general admission policy including all amphitheater concerts, viewing of hot air balloon ascensions, disc dogs, acoustic stage, Family Fun Zone and more. Children 12 and under are free. Tickets are available at all BI-LO locations and can be purchased for $8 from April 27 through May 24. For more information, please visit