2016 Hot Air Balloon Fiesta


Yesterday, and for the two years in a row, I saw hot air balloons rise in my town’s park/baseball field. With no work to do, my mom and I decided it was the perfect day to go to the fiesta and spend the tail end of our afternoon and most of our evening there. Since the balloons weren’t scheduled to go up until 5:30 (and ended up being late anyway), we had some time to kill.

Unlike the Flea Market, there are a few things you can do besides eat junk food and buy crafts. We have a bandstand that plays live music throughout the day, typically by local cover bands who range in rock ‘n roll to country music. There were tons of people around in general yesterday, but a good chunk of them could be found listening to the music while they waited for the balloons. Today, weather permitting, they usually have a car show for all kinds of antique cars. It’s been a long time since I’ve gone on a Sunday, so I can’t remember if these cars are also for sale or strictly just to show off. Still, if you like polished antiques, these cars are cool to see. Finally, something they’ve started to bring back and expand on is the fairground. You have your typical junk food trucks and apparently not rigged carnival games to play for plushies and other random toys. They also have a small-ish selection of rides, most of them involving lots of spinning (no thanks). While adults can find plenty of fun, I feel it’s really more tailored to kids. Also, to our slight dismay, they’ve quit having a bingo tent for people to get some shade and win a little money. It’s kind of a shame ’cause it was something we often did as a family.

Anyway, after securing some seats nearby and waiting through a few delays thanks to some random gusts of wind, we finally got to see the balloons inflate and take off. Plenty of the usual balloonist regulars were there, along with the balloons themselves, but I was surprised to hear of at least two or three newcomers this year. It made me happy to see the fiesta trying to bring in fresh faces, though I guess it’s possible that they could’ve been filling in spots left by others who couldn’t attend. Whatever the case, I’m glad the people who paid for rides got to go up, and since all of the balloons seem to drift off over town this year, I’m sure they got a great view. Unfortunately, the few shape balloons they have this year weren’t able to take off, but they were nice enough to inflate them for the eventual moon glow (aka lighting up the balloons in the dark) and for people to get pictures.

After all of that, my mom and I stayed a bit longer to mingle with some friends and relatives and listen to a few tunes from the bandstand. I bought my usual helping of cotton candy and, since he couldn’t make it due to work, bought my dad some delicious kettle popcorn. We didn’t stay for ALL the music, as they tend to go until 10pm, but we left the park feeling satisfied with our day there. I’m glad I got to see the balloons go up this year, and I’m still hopeful that my fiance will eventually get to see them as well. With that, I’ll leave you all with the aforementioned shape balloons, just ’cause I love them so much!


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