Monday, August 2, 2010

32nd Annual Great Texas Balloon Race

So, you know how I said there's not much to do in this small town? Well there is one weekend each year when that isn't entirely true. That's the weekend of the Great Texas Balloon Race. This event is a major event on the hot air balloon circuit and our small city is a proud participant.

I have childhood memories of watching hot air balloons launch from the field across the street from my house when the neighborhood was still being developed, but I haven't really seen any in years.

The event is somewhat like a mini fair with a balloon theme. There are classic fair foods (we had sausage and a stick and a turkey leg), vendors, and rides for the kids. This year there was a cluster balloon flight. The "pilot" attaches himself to a cluster of smaller balloons. The pilot releases balloons as he goes to control his altitude and direction. Have you seen the movie "Up"? Yeah, it's like that. We saw him flying as we arrived at the event.
We also got to see four US Air Force post WWII planes. Really neat.

The highlight of the event is the Balloon Glow. Around dusk all the balloonists blow up there balloons in a large field. The burn of the gas produces light in the balloon and there is a "glow" across the field. As we walked among the balloons you could feel the heat. It's intense. There were all different types of balloons. The most unique were the Purple People eater with a giant eye, a pair of twin Bumblebees, a pirate, a gumball machine, and a Dr Pepper bottle. The classic patchwork like ones were also pretty.

All those balloons in one place is definitely something you don't see everyday. I wish I could have seen them in flight but getting up at 6:30am was not on my agenda for the weekend. Maybe we'll work that in next year.

We also saw Elvis this weekend partly thanks to my couponing endeavors. I'll leave you with that for today. :)

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