18th ANNUAL LEXINGTON SUNRISE ROTARY
CORNERSTONE BANK BALLOON RALLY
AND JULY 4TH CELEBRATION
July 3, 4, 5 and 6, 2014 at VMI Parade
For the 18th consecutive year, Lexington's Sunrise Rotary Club Foundation and its local community sponsors will bring thousands of people to the Virginia Military Institute's Parade Ground for the launch of hot air balloon rides, fun, food, music, festivities, and fireworks.
Admission to the event is free.
Visitors seeking a breathtaking trip over the beautiful Shenandoah Valley may purchase either morning or evening rides, starting on the evening of July 3 and continuing through Sunday morning, July 6.
For balloon ride information and reservations, call 540-256-1896. Click on the balloon related links at the bottom of this page for information about how to reserve a balloon ride and eligibility requirements to participate in a hot air balloon flight.
Vendors will be on hand selling delicious foods of all kinds and many kinds of crafts and similar festival products throughout the festivities on both July 3rd and July 4th.
Expanded activities at the VMI Parade Ground begin on July 3rd with the first of six planned hot air balloon launches in the late afternoon. Visitors may bring lawn chairs, blankets and picnics to the Parade Ground to enjoy good food, and music from a live band, and the balloon launches, and, after the balloons lift off, with weather permitting, there also will be tethered balloon rides and also a “glow” at dusk at the Parade Ground, displaying the colors and pageantry of the hot air balloons.
A free bus shuttle is provided on the 4th of July for your convenience, running between off-site parking and the VMI parade ground.
Weather permitting, tethered balloon rides, for adults and children, will be available at the VMI Parade Ground at 8:00 a.m. in the morning of July 4th, and also at or after 7 p.m. on July 4th. Reservations are not required or taken for tethered rides.
One of the biggest draws each year is "Eleanore's Market Place," (a tag sale of gently used items) which will open on July 4th, beginning at 9 a.m., and continuing until about 3 p.m.
At noon on July 4th, the Parade Ground at VMI comes alive with vendors, music, kids’ activities, featuring a kid’s tent featuring face-painting and other entertainment for kids.
There will be an antique-car display on July 4th.
July 4th is concluded with a spectacular fireworks display at dark, shooting high into the sky over the Barracks of the Virginia Military Institute.
Lexington Sunrise Rotary donates all the proceeds from the event to more than a dozen area charities, especially to ones that help children.
In addition to the balloon rally, historic Lexington offers many other things to see and do during the July Fourth week, including short walks to the VMI Museum, The George C. Marshall Museum, the Robert E. Lee Chapel and Museum on the Campus of Washington & Lee University, and with a short drive into town you reach the Rockbridge Tourist Center, the Stonewall Jackson House, the Rockbridge Historical Society, and the Lexington Cemetery where Stonewall Jackson and other notables from history are buried. For more information on what to do and see in the area, please view the Rockbridge Area Tourism website by clicking here.
The City of Lexington holds its annual and well attended children's bicycle parade early on July 4th in downtown, on Main Street, starting at the Library.
The Blue Ridge Parkway is a mere 10 miles east of Lexington, and The Appalachian Trail passes over and nearby Buena Vista, Virginia, about 6 miles east of Lexington.
Lexington, Virginia is at the intersection of Interstate 64 and Interstate 81 in Rockbridge County, and also may be reach by the famous “Lee Highway “(State Route 11), that runs basically north-south through the beautiful and historic Shenandoah Valley, called “the Valley of Virginia.”
More information is available by clicking on the appropriate link: