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Foodie Fun and Air-Raising Activities at the Great Chesapeake Balloon Festival

Image Courtesy of Great Chesapeake Balloon Festival

Image Courtesy of Great Chesapeake Balloon Festival

Like many balloon festivals, the Third Annual Great Chesapeake Balloon Festival scheduled for August 1st & 2nd, 2014 will feature an exciting array of fantastic balloons for lighter-than-air travel enthusiasts. They have a foodie kick-off contest I’ve never seen before, that should earn it a place on Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre Foods America.

Four Chefs from Easton, MD restaurants will meet in front of the Washington Street Court House and battle it out in the “Scossa Balloon Burner Bake Off Cooking Contest.” Yawn, another cooking contest, so what? Chefs will heat their dishes using a 15 million BTU Hot Air Balloon burner. The public is invited to watch. Yeah right. How many of them are going to singe their eyebrows or flambé their hats? Last year, at least one chef came prepared; his gloves look a lot like my suede fireplace gauntlets.

Image Courtesy of Great Chesapeake Balloon Festival

Image Courtesy of Great Chesapeake Balloon Festival

“Scossa Balloon Burner Bake Off Cooking Contest” Thursday, July 31st from 5 to 6 p.m.

The Balloon Festival itself will feature at least 15 hot air balloons, skydivers, balloon rides, and a giant walk-through hot air balloon for children and adults. The event will take place Mistletoe Drive, off Glebe Road behind Aqua Pool in Easton.

It benefits Talbot County Paramedic Foundation, and is sponsored by Tri-Gas & Oil and Aqua Pool.
Balloonists will gather at Mistletoe Drive Friday, August 1st at 5 p.m. preparing for launch. Two hot air balloons, tethered to the ground will offer rides ($20 adults $10 children under 12) up to 60 feet in the air; and a large balloon will be inflated on the ground for children & adults to venture into the center of the colorful balloon ($2 per child). A special shape balloon will be premiering this year “Eddie & Rickenbacker” balloon featuring the history of Army aviation.

Image Courtesy of Great Chesapeake Balloon Festival

Image Courtesy of Great Chesapeake Balloon Festival

Skydivers from Baltimore Skydive will jump into the event at 6 p.m. just before the ascension of the balloons. Aqua Pool’s Glow will begin a half hour past sunset with balloons glowing through the colorful balloon envelopes.

Saturday morning, August 2nd, a Presentation of Colors will take place at 6 a.m. Balloons will begin inflation immediately following with a massive ascension. At 8 a.m. Chic-Filet will present a “Cow Drop” when a hundred miniature cows will parachute from the sky to the crowd. Each cow will have a coupon for a free sandwich from Chic-Filet.

Limited number of boarding passes to ride in the launch is available for $225 each. Persons wishing to make a reservation should contact Balloonmeister Ron Broderick 410-442-5566. Food and beverages will be available for sale during the events. The public is invited to bring lawn chairs and blankets. The event is free to the public with plenty of parking.

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Eastern State Penitentiary, PA Offers Unique Food Experience: Nutraloaf from Around the U.S.

Image Courtesy of Eastern State  Penitentiary

Image Courtesy of Eastern State Penitentiary

If you thought school cafeteria food was bad, you really need to check out one of Eastern State Penitentiary’s popular events, Prison Food Weekend. In 2014, the culinary event will focus on Nutraloaf, the “food product” issued as punishment in many American prisons. (As bad as school food was, it was never intentionally meant to be punishment.)

Foodies have the opportunity to sample Nutraloaf created using the official recipes from Pennsylvania (extraordinarily bland), Illinois (a vegan recipe, combining canned baked beans and spinach), California (a meat recipe with fresh ingredients) and Arizona (an intensely-flavored loaf that has been the subject of law suits). You’ve been warned. So far, I haven’t seen Andrew Zimmern scarfing down Nutraloaf. Here’s your chance to challenge your friends to a “tasteful” experience.

Also on view will be sample menus, archival photographs, prison reports, and firsthand accounts of the prison fare throughout Eastern State Penitentiary’s 142-year operational history.

Saturday, June 14, 2014 – 11:00am – Sunday, June 15, 2014 – 4:30pm.

Prison Food Weekend activities are available from 11:00 am to 4:30 pm each day. Included with admission. Tickets are available online or at the door, subject to availability.

Eastern State Penitentiary
2027 Fairmount Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19130
Phone: (215) 236-3300