When I heard about the Great Balloon Race in Forest Park, I was most excited for the Friday night "Balloons A-Glow." We were unable to make it to that, but on the schedule for the next day was the actual race, a time to walk up next to the balloons while they were being inflated, and sky-divers. So, Hubs and I decided to go check it out right in the middle of the events schedule activities. Which, is always a gamble as to what kind of parking availability you might find. We were fortunate to find something fairly close, with not too many difficulties. I think we learned some tips about parking in the park that we have packed away for next time, too.
Reason #1 to go to this event: It's FREE. I love free stuff.The day was perfect in temperature, but overcast. It ended up drizzling on us for a bit. We arrived just in time to walk amongst the balloons as they were being blown up. What a process that is! Of course you have to walk through all the vendors before making it to the actual balloons, but it was like walking through the midway of the state fair, which is fun in itself.
There were lots of balloons up when we first arrived. The movie-theatre-popcorn-shaped one was pretty impressive.
It took a lot of work for them to get the balloons upright. I had not clue. In my limited thinking, I assumed you simple pushed a button and they stood up on their own. It was interesting to just stand and watch the process.
You had to watch out. As they are inflating, the wind would blow them every which way, knocking you over if you weren't paying attention.
And the thing people ride in, really is a basket! Flimsy looking things held in the sky by hot air. As fun as it sounds to be on one...it seems very precarious. I also never thought through keeping the balloon on the ground once inflated. All these people putting their weight on the basket, and it still hopped around with the wind blew.
We love events that let us bring the pups [always carrying water in his backpack], and this one does! He not only strikes up multiple conversations with people, but he gets out and learns how to be socialized, especially with little kids that want to give him love.
Probably our favorite part of the day [we didn't actually stay for the balloon race], was the sky divers. We watched 4 people jump out of a plan and land on an "X" in the middle of the field. And it was so cool! I would never have the crazy guts to jump out of a plane.
This event happens every year in Forest Park [one of my favorite places in St. Louis] and I'd highly recommend checking it out next year - September 14-16, 2012.