Chatfield Balloon Festival

Some friends of ours invited my wife and I out to Chatfield last night to see the “lighting of the balloons”. We picked up some good ol’ fried chick’n from PopEyes and headed over. Thankfully they were well versed in the “back route” which for my own selfish reasons, I shant be sharing with you, so there was no line to get in. Not so for the schlubs at the main gate, from where we ate fried chicken, we could see the line stretching out past the interestion, ouch.

I had no idea the festival was even going on, my wife did, but I was clueless. After eating, we packed up our stuff and walked over to where the booths were, which was also where the balloons were going up.

I saw my first Rocky Mtn Oyster seller, I didn’t go near. I didn’t want to see them being served, smell them being cooked, or watch some one eat them, but they were there.

It’s pretty cool to watch the balloons be inflated, quite a bit of work, more than I assumed in fact. Cooler, and eerie at the same time, is watching them deflate, be it intentionally or not. The gray balloon in the picture above was sitting there very peacefully, then like the hindenberg, minus flames and death, it drooped to the ground, a mix of real time and slow motion, very strange to watch.

The lighting was cool, and anti climactic all at the same time. The sun went down, the balloons were all inflated, and from the stage on the other side of the clearing we heard a countdown start. When the crowd hit 0, each balloon fired it’s burner thing for a long burst. The cool part….

An impressive visual display (minus poor gray balloon), the let down, after about four burns, that was it. The night was over.

So I’d go back with friends, to enjoy a picnic and have some fun, but I don’t think I’d go back just to see the lighting. The festival itself was neat enough to warrant a return, but I’ll skip the night time part, and the numerous misquito bites that I went home with.

2 Comments so far

  1. susan (unregistered) on August 26th, 2007 @ 10:46 pm

    I went to the morning lift yesterday – I’ve grown up with balloons since I used to live in the city that has the 2nd largest balloon rally next to Albuquerque NM. Watching the balloon glow is amazing and breath taking. I tell the kids they are just over-sized fire-flies lighting up the sky.

    I remember going to the balloon glow at Chatfield years ago, I think when they were still getting it going, only 2 or 3 balloons were there – and I couldn’t remember why we never went back… those pesky mosquitoes, they are a killer out there.

  2. Aaron DeLay (unregistered) on August 27th, 2007 @ 12:12 am


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