Q. Several readers have contacted Ask the Times asking if anyone in the Quad-City area offers hot air balloon rides.
A. We contacted the Quad-Cities Balloon Festival regarding your questions. They suggested contacting Darrell Day, Pi Ball Balloons and president of the Quad-Cities Balloon Festival, at 309-737-3909.
The Quad-Cities Balloon Festival is an annual event. The festival will be held Sept. 22-23, 2017, at the Rock Island County Fairgrounds, 4200 Archer Drive, East Moline. Admission is free; in lieu of admission, organizers ask that you bring donations of nonperishable food items to support River Bend Foodbank.
According to the website:
"7,121 lbs of Food donated in 2015!
"We want to say thank you to everyone that donated food at the gate! We more than doubled the food donation that was made to the River Bend Foodbank this year resulting in 38,000 meals for those in need in our community."
Note: Full balloon rides are not offered during the event. All activities are weather dependent. Launch and glow times may be delayed or canceled because of the weather.
According to the festival website, tether rides are offered at the festival:
"Hot Air Balloon Tether Rides — $15 per person (Friday/Saturday evening, lines may be long)
"What is a Balloon Tether Ride?
"A hot air balloon is held in place or tethered to the ground. Ropes are attached to the balloon and it is allowed to go up only as far as the ropes will allow it. Passengers climb into the basket and the pilot lights the burners. The balloon ascends into the air approximately 40 - 50 feet above the ground and hovers a little while. The balloon then gently descends back to the ground. It is a great way to feel what it would be like to take a hot air balloon ride and to see the field from a slightly higher perspective."
Events also include: balloon launch Friday and Saturday evening; balloon glow Friday and Saturday evening; food vendors; play area for children featuring Jumpin Joey's Bounce Houses.
Q. If Davenport thinks it time to change 3rd and 4th streets back to two-way streets, then why not get rid of all the other one-way streets? I can see no benefit to having the other ones in Davenport at all. — Donald
A. We contacted the city of Davenport to find out. Brian Schadt, deputy public works director and city engineer, responded:
"At this time, the city of Davenport does not have any project identified in the Capital Improvement Plan for the conversion of one-way streets to two-way streets."