Unpredictable winds, according to one enthusiast, were blamed for keeping the hot air balloons from lifting off on the afternoon of the third day of the Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival.
The 6th annual event was held on Fathers Day weekend in southern Alabama at Foley, some 90 miles east of our home. It took close to two hours to get there after making a couple stops and going through a few thunderstorms.
The Foley Sportspark, located on US 98, west of town, was the location of the event that had as many as 44 balloons registered for the competition flights during the event that ran from June 17-20.
Festival-goers could get filled up on a variety of different food items and drinks, browse the Arts and Crafts Village or be entertained by a variety of activities that included bands, the Disc-connected K9s World Famous Frisbee Dogs or visit the Antique Tractor/Farm Equipment display.
Youngsters could visit the Children's Village where they were entertained by Sunshine the Clown and Gertie the Clown. The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo was represented and children could be seen with their faces painted.
Free shuttle bus service was offered from locations in town. Parking at the site was just $2 per vehicle.
Skies went from partly cloudy to cloudy as the afternoon wore on. The schedule called for the balloons to land at the area beginning at 6 p.m., but earlier in the day the decision was made, that because of the weather, to scrap the landings.
Nonetheless, a few teams took the time to inflate their balloons to at least give festival goers a good look at the real thing.
Just past sundown, as the balloons were being deflated, winds from the north whipped into the area scattering festival-goers with the threat of rain which was only a few minutes behind.
We had decided to visit just that one time and therefore didn't get to see any of the balloons in flight although competition flights were scheduled on other days. Well, there's always next year.
Sights of the festival
Come on, honey, its hot out here
Next post: Sunday, June 27, 2010