Sunday … Shoutout #5 to ballooners …

September 28, 2008 § 5 Comments

(photo taken at Forest Park Balloon Glow, 2007)

Balloons.
Not circus balloons. Not birthday party stuff.
These are hot air balloons.

The Balloon Glow occurs Friday night before Saturday’s Hot Air Balloon Race annually in September, in St Louis. At the Glow, the balloons are “set up” and tethered and the show begins just after twilight.

A siren sounds, and at that moment, the owners fire up their hot air balloons and the hillside magically lights up. This can only last for less than a minute at a time because the balloons inflate and  begin to lift, restrained only by their tethers and in some cases, by awesome burly pit crews that also hold restraints. (good idea! these things are huge!)

Hundreds of people, hundreds of families attend to walk around looking at the balloons, enjoying refreshments at the food booths and just kinda camping out on blankets and chairs that are freely allowed wherever the balloons are not.

It’s like a small town festival in a grand urban park. It’s pretty much magic. The “glow” thing goes on for about 90 minutes, with the siren sounding regularly. From a distance, like standing in front of the Art Museum on Art Hill or anywhere in the park really, you get a completely different perspective,  and it is just as magnificent to witness.

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