Off-course hot-air balloon makes daring landing in NC neighborhood

HOLLY SPRINGS, NC (WNCN) — The Freedom Balloon Fest is happening this weekend in Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina.

But some people in Holly Springs did not have to go there to see the hot-air balloons up close.

They had one go off course and land in their neighborhood — accidentally.

“It was flying over Target and it looked like it was going to land there and it didn’t,” said 9-year-old Jackson Geiger.

“I don’t know how, but somehow it kind of popped,” observed 5-year-old Kaley Geiger.

Children in the neighborhood were fascinated by the event.

“Jackson. He came upstairs. He was like, ‘Guys! There’s a hot air balloon outside!’ I was like, ‘You’re pranking me.’ And then he was like, ‘No. For real.’ And then we went outside and I was like, ‘Oh my Gosh’” said 10-year-old Cooper Mann

It happened before sundown on Friday in a neighborhood behind the Target store in Holly Springs – at the intersection of Forest Haven Drive and Begonia Trail.

“It was flying over Target and it looked like it was going to land there and it didn’t,” said 9-year-old Jackson Geiger.

Neighbors said the balloon landed safely and no one was hurt.  The balloon appeared to make a perfect landing nearly in the middle of a three-way intersection, according to video of the incident.

“It just kept flying over here,” said 8-year-old Colten Mann.

“Then it flew down in the middle of the street,” Kaley added.

It was quite the neighborhood event. The balloon was first caught on video — hovering very low over trees and then just cleared Kristin and Brad Geiger’s house before touching down in the street.

The kids who live there laid down on the sidewalk and helped flatten and roll up the balloon so it could be hauled out.

One man says the crew handled like pros – though passengers did seem a bit frazzled.

“They got out and were happy, I think, to be on the ground. We were a little worried that the balloons were going to go into one of the other houses or something, but the crew was really good and got it down safe,” said  Brad Geiger, a Holly Springs resident.

In all, 35 hot air balloons will take to the sky this weekend.

There’s 20 hours of live music, plus interactive displays and amusements for kids and beer for adults.

It’s happening at Fuquay-Varina’s Fleming Loop Park.

The event continues until 10:30pm Saturday and picks back up Sunday morning with competition flights at 6:15pm.

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