Festival includes laser tag, rock climbing and hot air balloons

Zoe Greszler • Updated Aug 30, 2016 at 3:51 PM

NEW LONDON — Where can you go to find laser tag, rock climbing and hot air balloon rides? For a few days at least, you can find all three in New London.

The village’s Labor Day Firelands Festival begins Friday and runs through Monday, and offers few new activities that may get more than just the kids excited. 

“We actually have a couple new, additional cost activities this year — rock wall climbing, laser tag and a hot air balloon ride. The hot air balloon is only available Sunday but the rock wall and laser tag are all weekend,” said city parks employee, Michelle Popa. 

“They are additional cost activities, (but) I think it will get people excited. I would think so. It sounds fun to me.”

Popa said there was no big scheme behind new additions, the committee just listened to the citizens.

“I think (the committee) just wanted to add a couple new things to the weekend and people had suggested these activities, she said. “We still have all the other activities we’ve had for years and years and years. We just wanted to add to it and offer something more (for the community).”

Popa said everyone, no matter their age, will want to add the festival to their calendars.

It’s a family event,” she said. “There’s something for everybody. There’s rides, there’s games, all the events we have. ...  And all the different activities going on are free; the truck pull, tractor pull, motocross. It’s all included in the admission price.”

Daily entry prices are $7 or $4 for senior citizens (ages 62 and older), or may be purchased as a three day pass for $15 or $10 for seniors. Children three years and younger are free. Rides are included in the entry ticket price.

Here is the festival schedule:

Friday, Sept. 2

6 p.m. - Midway opens

7 p.m. Softball tournament

Saturday, Sept. 3

7 a.m. - Gates open

8 a.m. Softball tournament

9 a.m. - 5K Road Race

Noon - Horseshoe round robin

Noon - Midway opens

1 p.m. - Festival parade

5 p.m. - LifeFlight demo

5 p.m. - Open truck pull

7 to 11 p.m. - Live music 

Sunday, Sept. 4

7 a.m. - Gates open

8 a.m. - Softball tournament

8:30 a.m. - Community worship

9 a.m. —sand volleyball

Noon - Horseshoe tournament 

Noon - Midway opens

1 p.m. - Demo derby

4 to 7 p.m. - Hot air balloon ride - Ventures of Loft

5:30 p.m. - ATV/Motocross registration

6:30 p.m. —ATV/motocross races

7 to 11 p.m. - Live music — RMS band

Monday, Sept. 5

7 a.m. - Gates open

8 a.m. - Softball tournament 

9 a.m. - Open tractor pull

10 a.m. - Corn hole tournament

11 a.m. Kiddie tractor pull

Noon - Midway opens

1 p.m. - Kids games

4 p.m. -  Pizza eating contest

4 p.m. - Chili cook-off contest

6 p.m. - Door prizes

9 p.m. - Fireworks 

9:30 p.m. - Gates close

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