On Nov. 1 and 2, hot air balloons will once again take flight in Simpsonville and polo matches will be played at the inaugural Greenville’s Hot Air Balloon Festival and Victory Cup Polo Match.
Founded 15 years ago, the Victory Cup started in Washington, D.C., and then spent several years in the New York and Connecticut area before expanding to a national event.
“The event has grown exponentially,” said Joe Bachmeier, Victory Cup co-owner. “This event used to be just held once a year. This year we have 11 events across five different states.”
The event features tethered balloon rides (weather permitting) both days and three polo matches on Nov. 2.
According to Bachmeier, pairing hot air balloons with polo is a perfect fit.
“Balloons can only typically activate in the morning and evening, so we have balloons around sunrise, polo throughout the day and then we bring the hot air balloons back out around sunset,” said Bachmeier.
“The event has grown exponentially. This event used to be just held once a year. This year we have 11 events across five different states.” – Joe Bachmeier, Victory Cup co-owner
Another appealing thing about pairing the two activities is that polo can be played rain or shine, whereas the hot air balloons can easily be grounded due to weather conditions.
“Over 60% of Victory Cup attendees have never been to a polo match before,” Bachmeier said. “It is our mission to expand the sport and make it accessible for everyone. We will have a polo announcer that explains the sport and will give tutorials throughout the day.”
The event features polo teams that travel from event to event, but organizers will also invite local teams as well.
The event will also feature a half-dozen bands including the Richard Shulman Trio and Jeff Edwards Band, as well as a DJ, food and alcohol, games, a bounce castle, and kid-focused vendors. Dogs are also welcome, but they must be leashed.
Additionally, attendees will have the opportunity to witness the Night Glow, which is where the hot air balloons inflate at dusk and light up the night sky, Bachmeier said.
For more information, visit www.victorycup.org/southcarolina.