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Serena's Song to offer wheelchair accessible balloon rides next week

It's the first wheelchair accesible hot air balloon.

Posted Updated

Sarah Lindenfeld Hall
Serena’s Song, the world's first wheelchair accessible hot air balloon, will return to Raleigh to offer free rides on July 11, July 12 and July 13.

The flights will be held from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., weather permitting. They'll be at Spring Forest Road Park, 4203 Spring Forest Rd. in Raleigh off Capital Boulevard. Rides will be provided on a first come first, serve basis, with a priority given to children who use wheelchairs or have mobility impairments. Each day, the first 15 participants will receive a free Capital Area Transit bag. A clown will be there to entertain families who are waiting to ride.

A sweet story is behind the creation of the balloon. I got a chance to meet the dad who built the balloon several years ago. Gary Waldman's daughter Serena suffered complications during birth and, before her first balloon ride, had been emotionless and unable to speak. When he had the chance to give Serena a ride in a balloon, she screamed with delight. Waldman wanted to create the same experience for other people with disabilities.

Click here for more about the balloon.

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