Hot air ballons
After our first visit in the Indiana Dunes State Park I went to their web page to find some more informations about the park. I could not be more happy when I saw that in the neighborhood of the park, in Valparaiso in the following week there will be a Hot Air Ballons fest organized by Kiwanis Club of Valparaiso. The following week we headed to Valparaiso and enjoyed my first Hot Air Ballon show.
Air ballons group take off
When we arrived the hot air ballons were not set up yet and only one of them was partially filled with air and open for people to walk inside. Other ballons were spread on the grass and ready to be filled with hot air. Except the hot air ballons, there was a stage on the fest with local dance groups entertaining guests while they were waiting for the ballons to take off. Ballons were prepared to take off around 6PM and the weather did not delay it. About 12 hot air ballons take off together, almost at the same time. The take off and the flight took approximately 30 minutes and after that time we could see only few ballons on the horizon. All ballons were suppose to be brought back and set up again for the hot air ballons glow after the sunset. The ballon rides were not offered this year but they were advertised for the next years ballon fest.
All ballons were in the classical shape and different colors. From solid purple ballon with a large sign 'Plum Crazy' that we particularly liked to very colorful ones, all ballons looked very nice and all took off without any problems. Later during the evening it was announced that all ballons were part of a competition for a precision landing.
When the pilots and their teams were landing and bring the ballons back to their take off spots, local tap dancing group from Valparaiso performed for about an hour. After them the local police department organized demonstration with K9 departments dogs and a bomb squad.
After the sunset, around 8PM all ballons were suppose to take part in a hot air ballons glow. However, some of the participating ballons had problems setting up again and only half of the ballons glowed at the end. The hosts made them glow to the rhythms of the music which looked spectacular. Whole Air Ballon Fest was very nicely organized and although few hundreds of people came to see the show, it did not feel crowded at all. If you are in the neighborhood of Valparaiso, you should check out the next years fest and maybe get a hot air ballon ride.
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