It happens toward the end of every August: little hot air balloon decorations start appearing on porches, in doorways, and in windows all over the greater Glens Falls area, swaying in the breeze and quietly marking the beginning of the autumn season.
Almost every person who has grown up here or visited in September has a similar core memory of waking up before the dawn, shuffling sleepily through the chilly air to the car, and driving toward the local airport. There is an audible hum of excitement the closer you get to the pilots and crews getting ready to fill their balloons with the hot air that will turn our early autumn skies into a glorious riot of color against the backdrop of the rising sun.
Locals and visitors all know, the Adirondack Balloon Festival is not to be missed.
We are so excited to have been chosen by the Adirondack Balloon Festival to create the first ever keepsake ornament in celebration of the festival's 50th year! Every one of us at Cedar + Pearl has special memories around this area's crowning fall event and it has been our honor to create, with our own hands, an ornament that will serve as a memory keeper for families and friends for years to come.
Custom ornament designs like this one require a thoughtful process that usually begins many months before the event for which they are needed. We began the creation of this ornament in February 2023, in a process that was a bit different than we normally use. Rather than provide a complete design concept to the committee, they visited our workshop in the The Shirt Factory building in Glens Falls. Through a collaborative effort that day, we pulled together pieces and ideas from other ornaments we've made to create a design that is perfect for this celebration.
We moved on from that collaborative session to the production phase: starting with careful design work, then using our Boss Laser machines to cut birch plywood for the base of our construction. Each piece was then delicately painted by hand in our workshop, using both watercolor and blending effects to bring the scene to life. Once our painters work their magic, the pieces head across our workshop to our assembly crew, who carefully line up, glue, and string each ornament into its final shape. For this project we also worked with the Adirondack Balloon Festival Committee to design special, commemorative packaging that includes a brief history of the Adirondack Balloon Festival and its founders, Walt and Joan Grishkot.
These handmade, keepsake ornaments will be available at the Adirondack Balloon Festival's official merchandise tent during the event. We are hoping in the future to be able to offer them at our shop at The Shirt Factory in cooperation with the Festival. If they become available at our shop, we will update their availability both here and on our social media accounts. Be sure to follow us!