Vince Galet knows where he won’t be on Black Friday.
“I just know I won’t be shopping,” he said.
Galet, a hot-air balloon hobbyist, is planning on letting the winds take him wherever they may.
He’s taking part in what’s been billed as Opt-Outside, a movement of folks who want to encourage people to use the day after Thanksgiving to get outside, not in the mall.
It was started by outdoor retailer REI, which announced in October that it would close its 143 stores on Black Friday so its employees could do the things they love.
Since then, the website Meetup, which lists public activities that people can use to, what else, meet up, got in on the action.
The company says more than 5,000 meetup groups are planning something for Black Friday.
In Philadelphia, there’s a bike ride, and hiking, too.
Galet, who has a Meetup group called Ballooning Adventures, will get up early to launch at sunrise. The two hours after dawn are the most manageable for balloons.
Exactly where he will launch from is a decision that gets made on the day of the lauch — it really depends on where the wind blows. But it will probably be in New Hanover Township, near his home in Collegeville in the Philadelphia suburbs.
He may be joined by two other balloonists, each with a crew of 12. There’s a support staff that follows in a car.
Though he’s not offering offering balloon rides to others, people do like to get up early to just watch them take off.
“I welcome people who want to come and watch and consider joining us,” Galet said.