The Northwest Georgia Balloon Festival kicks off Friday afternoon at 4 PM….and organizers say that they are expecting around 20,000 people to attend the festival this weekend. 

Early this week the carnival rides were beginning to be put in place and will be ready to go by this afternoon’s opening of the Balloon Festival.  Gail Wilbanks with the Festival told AM 1180 that this year’s admission will be $10 per car-load.  This admission will get Festival attendees in for the entire weekend.

Parking is available along Georgia Highway 48 near the ball fields in Menlo.  The event draws people from all over the Southeast.  Balloons will launch at 6 AM and 6 PM.

John Cavin, owner of one of the balloons that will be featured, told AM 1180 that a Don Knotts impersonator from Ft. Payne will be appearing as "Deputy Barny Fife" at this year’s event.  The Northwest Georgia Balloon Festival is a family event that provides a lot of entertainment for the entire family.