WHEELING, W.Va (WTRF) — Fort Henry Days attracts a variety of sutlers each year (those are the people you see pitching tents and selling their merchandise on the campsite).
This year, the event was a mash-up with the Wheeling 250 Celebration and brought in some new guests.
For the first year ever, they offered a hot-air-balloon show as one of their entertainment offerings for the weekend.
John Stealey, Owner, Camera Obscura says organizers have been trying to get him to come to Fort Henry Days for years and in honor of Wheeling’s 250th birthday, he couldn’t refuse.
“I said I can’t miss your 250th. They come around once and that’s it,” said Stealey.
The experimenter and professor of aeronautics said he’s happy to be in the Friendly City showing folks all about 18th century technology, free of charge.
“I get paid seeing the little people and the adults being totally amazed by the technology of the 17 hundreds,” said Stealey.
Unfortunately, this hot-air-balloon can’t whisk people away to the Land of Oz. In fact, it’s not meant to be ridden at all.
It’s made from 50 yards of tracing paper which Stealey said, is manufactured by a company in France who’s been around since the first hot air balloon flight in 1783. His hot paper ball took four weeks to build and has a short lifespan of roughly a couple days.
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