Syracuse (aka Jamesville) Balloon Festival 2011

Even though I was exhausted from my day in NYC the day before, Hubby and I decided to head north to the Syracuse Balloon Festival and I am so glad we did.  What an amazing experience watching all the balloons set up and take off.  Every color of the rainbow was there!!!  We arrived around 6:30 or so with the balloon launch set to happen at 7:30 and balloon glow around 9PM.  We set up on the road side of the balloon launch field near a tree – my logic being we won’t have to move as they roll the balloons out and get ready to launch.  My logic ended up to be correct – we were able to keep our spot for the entire launch.  However, I have few shots of the balloons in the air because I was under a tree!!!!

This was the first balloon to float up, up, and away - you can see at least four others in the foreground preparing for their turn.

I would guess they launched 15-20 balloons that evening – it was hard to keep count.  The atmosphere was festivous – everyone moving around and truly enjoying the spectacle that was happening before our eyes.  I was surprised that there wasn’t more pushing and shoving (at least figuratively) as people vied for the best views.  Not the best shooting light – it was really very bright.  And often you were shooting upwards – into those bright, hazy skies.  Thank heavens for Photoshop!!

Three balloons fillling with air while a fourth prepares for liftoff

Personally, I was a little hesitant to get too close.  One, I don’t want to get in anyone’s way.  Two, the balloons while they’re filling twist and turn kind of willy nilly – I was a little afraid of getting crushed by one!!  But others didn’t share my fears…..

A fearless photographer moves in for his close up

Following the balloon launch was Balloon Glow which I’d never attended though the pictures I’ve seen from previous years make it look magical.  My best guess is that as the balloons come back in after dark, their fires make the balloons appear to glow.  Hubby and I wandered over to the Balloon Glow field, I got some pizza frite (my all time favorite thing that is good only when purchased from carnival vendors 🙂 ) and listened to .38 Special while we waited for the balloons to return.  Waited, and waited, and waited.  At 9:40 we called it a night – we had 1.5 hour drive back home, and work the next day.  Disappointed to have missed this – but terribly excited to try to see it again next year!!

Balloon Takeoff

The closest I got to Balloon Glow - the final balloon takes off as dusk creeps in

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One thought on “Syracuse (aka Jamesville) Balloon Festival 2011

  1. Fabulous colors, Deb! The one taking off at dusk is incredible.

    Don’t worry, you did not miss the balloon glow. My guess is they did not do it as they skipped it on Friday night. You should not worry about getting out and around the balloons. I walk and shoot among them as they launch. Very neat experience as they go up with just a few bursts of flame from the burners. Check out my post tomorrow for my balloon photos.

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