Saturday, October 3, 2009

Saturday October 3, 2009-Balloon Festival

Welcome to our pictorials of the Balloon Fiesta 2009. This is one of the first views of one of the first balloons to go up before the mass ascension began. I got a shot of the balloon with the burner on, which is very loud but beautiful when they are aloft.

Here is another balloon with the burner on. As you can see, it is getting light but the beauty of the balloons as they drift is very evident.

Here you see the referee who controls the takeoff of the balloons, giving instructions to one of the pilots of the Lituanica balloon. I will give you a brief description of the steps in launching a balloon. I'm certain that there are several major details that I don't know about, but here goes....

They begin by laying the balloon out on the ground with the basket attached. They add air to the balloon using the fan, to begin filling it.

They fill it and fill it. I'm not sure how much air one of these things hold, but its a lot!

They start warming the air in the balloon using the huge burners. These thing will frighten both adults and children if they are not aware that they are going to light them. They also throw off a great deal of heat, which feels good in the morning cold.

As the air heats up, it starts to stand the balloon up, with the basket attached. The basket appears to be a wicker basket, but I'm sure there is some sort of reinforcing material on it.

Here is the referee walking ahead of the launch path, clearing the way for the launch of the balloon. They use a police whistle to draw attention to the path to clear the spectators.

And here we go, liftoff!

As they gain altitude, they add more heat to the balloon.

And here they are, floating in the air.

They join the many, many other balloons that are floating above us. I have read that there are to be 550 balloons here for this event. I couldn't count them, but I believe that number! You can see a line of 12 or more balloons preparing to launch and more than I can count behind, already floating beautifully in the crisp air of Albuquerque.

Here you can see one of the specialty balloons that has just lifted off. There are still many balloons set to launch.

Here is another of the specialty balloons, the Pepsi Cola balloon. All of the balloons are very colorful and I can only imagine the skills necessary to build one of these thing.

Here is Nemo, with the famous ReMax balloon behind it. This is probably not the same Remax balloon that we see in their ads, and I'm sure they have more than one.

Another shot of just some of the many balloons in the air this morning.

A ladybug balloon, just one more specialty balloon. I am amazed at the imagination of the balloon builders and their creativity. I heard on the news that there are three specialty balloons that were shipped from China and are being held in Chicago after they cleared Customs.

Here is a beer stein balloon. The last time we came, 1996, there were several specialty balloons that we didn't see this time.

This is the U.S. Army Signal Corps balloon. I'm not going to make a comment about the use of taxpayer dollars to buy a balloon and to keep it going but it is a good way to advertise. Maybe they'll bring back dirigibles and blimps instead of spending billions of dollars on jets. What do you think?
Yeah, I doubt it too.....

This is one balloon with two baskets under each of the bumblebees. Again the imagination and creativity of these designers.

If you think I'm going to make a comment about anyone I know resembling this balloon, you're crazy......

This is a German beer and wine importer's balloon. It is just a different style of balloon that we found interesting.

A cow balloon. Nothing personal toward anyone, just another creatively designed balloon.

A little close-up of the Nemo balloon.

Some sort of a gremlin that is very detailed. It is kind of cute but it's not scary. I would hate to wake up with something like this, but I'm not making any comments. Again.....

The last photo of some of the balloons. We enjoyed the show but it was very tiring. I read that the grounds are 54 football fields long and make up 78 acres. We walked a lot of it seeing the balloons. The really tiring part was waiting for the bus to leave. We stood in line for over an hour but considering the number of people there, that's not too bad I guess.
We were tired when we got back home and took naps this afternoon. We decided not to go back for the evening "glow" and since there is nothing new to be seen tomorrow, we probably won't go back in the morning.
The Balloon Festival is very nice and if you get a chance to go, it is definitely worth it. Now that we have seen it twice, we probably won't go again unless there is a good reason.
So long.

1 comment:

Ted and Donna said...

Great, great, great pictures and descriptions. Just what I was hoping you would post.