Sunday, September 13, 2009

Keystone Balloon Festival (Bird In Hand)

I've never been to a balloon festival and always wanted to experience, so when I learned of the Keystone Balloon Festival in Bird in Hand was coming to the area I put it on the calendar.

I presume the scheduled Fri and Sat launches were cancelled due to the rain so when the forecast was decent, I trekked out at 5:30 AM Sunday morning so I could catch the 6:30 sunrise launch.

Too bad the weather probably ruined the full schedule of activities, at least they had one pristine morning for the launch.

Six balloons were launched and I was shocked at the size/volume differences due to the size of the baskets attached. Some baskets could accommodate, what looked like 10 people, other baskets would be crowded with 4 people.

I think the coolest sight was at pre-dawn when they fired up the giant propane flames which illuminated the entire inside of the translucent balloons. Three giant silhouettes turned into back lit logos.

I know that they are safe, but the process firing a foot diameter by 12 foot long propane flame in a thin cloth bag does seem potentially dangerous.

However, I can imagine that the floating sensation over gorgeous Lancaster County farm land trumps the minimal risk.

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