The 24th annual Winthrop Balloon Roundup takes to the air on Friday (March 5), weather permitting, and continues through Sunday (March 7).
Roundup organizer Kurt Oakley said that while the event typically draws about 20 balloonists from around the region, this year he is expecting about a dozen.
The number of spectators at the launch site – a field behind the Winthrop Inn – will be limited to 200. The balloons typically go aloft at around 7 a.m. Masks will be required. Launch viewers are asked to park at the Methow Valley Thriftway, and not on the road or at Winthrop Ace Hardware.
Most observers follow the balloons as they drift down-valley, generally along the path of the Methow River, before alighting. The flying is usually over by about 9 a.m.
Good viewing spots can be found on Highway 20, Witte Road and Old Twisp Highway. There is no charge for spectating.
For more information, visit https://winthropwashington.com/events.