So, we left even earlier the second morning, to try to beat a little of the traffic, but it’s amazing what a lil’ ‘ol balloon festival will bring out of the woodwork at 0500! We did get cheaper parking, but walked farther (kept us warm in the low 40’s of a morning). The skies were really cloudy, so the colors in the pictures aren’t as bright, but there was absolutely no wind! That meant that the Dawn Patrol was lifting off as we entered the gates.
I looked up some facts about the Fiesta. About 1 million people come to this over the 9 days, along with over 500 balloons.
It was fabulous this day to see hundreds of balloons all getting ready at the same time. It was amazing how closely they were packed.
Every time a balloon lifted off, the crowd around it would send up a cheer.
There were big gondolas like those above that you could ride in for about $500 a person, but most were family operations with 1-3 people aboard.
This day also saw the “Special Shape Rodeo”.
Darth Vader and Yoda were taking off together. Both were flying German flags. (I never could find out how many different countries were participating this year)
Some other interesting shapes:
This was our personal favorite:
A whole collection of different ones:
,,,and even more!
After 2 hours of taking innumerable pictures, I finally decided that I’d had enough, and we could go. I took this last picture as we walked away from the field:
As we were walking toward the exit, I noticed some of the balloons were dropping lower, and actually sailing right towards us!
We happened to be standing on the landing field (unbeknownst to us), so we quickly backed up!).
I love balloons!