Another successful year for US balloon festival

The 27th Arkansas Valley Hot Air Balloon Festival took place between the 7th and 9th of November in Rocky Falls, Colorado, and was well attended.

A cold front caused a slight delay on the Saturday, when the event site opened to the public. However, the weather on the Sunday was reportedly so good that many of the pilots took a second flight, taking off east of the County Road.

In total, nineteen balloons took part in the festival this year, with the tradition of holding a wake up breakfast at the Gobin Building was once again followed. This event gave balloonists, locals, and event attendees the chance to enjoy a breakfast cooked for them by the Rocky Ford Lions Club, which sponsored the event.

Attending the breakfast meant an early start, because it is traditionally served before take-off, which normally happens around 6.30am. A local Methodist Church, which is across the road from the football field where the balloons launch, also served breakfast burritos.

During the event, pilots from across the state offered ballooning demonstrations at local schools, with many taking the chance to have their pupils construct tissue paper balloons. These were launched during the three days covered by the festival, and give pupils the chance to learn about the physics of hot air ballooning.

Even after 27 years, the festival is still reportedly popular. Reporters from the La Junta Tribune noted that the event provides a chance for attendees to get up close to the action, which is not always possible at the bigger balloon festivals held in the area.

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