Friday, July 29, 2016

Red River Balloon Festival

A couple of weeks ago, the National Finals for Ballooning were held here in Shreveport.  I had a friend that had volunteered to help with the scoring one day and met her out at her location early on a Friday morning.  I had just come from working out, so I looked a sight, but the weather was beautiful and I didn't want to miss the chance to see the balloons.  When I arrived, I was quickly recruited to help with the scoring as well and we scurried around to set the targets up and measure the boundaries.
After that, we waited.
It wasn't long before spots of color began appearing over the trees.

It was so beautiful and peaceful to see them float closer and closer.
We could tell early on that most of the balloons were not headed for our target, but one loomed overhead briefly before the wind sent him on a different path.
It would have been fun to watch them drop at our target, but the weather dictates so much of how a balloon travels and it was not in the cards for us this time.  We could watch some drop at another location a couple of miles away.

That evening, we went to the Rally, hoping to hear the headline bands of Phil Wickham and Rend Collective and seeing a wonderful balloon glow.  However, as soon as we arrived, the fields were evacuated for a pending storm.  We were all directed to the nearby gym with the assurance that they would re-open as soon as the storm passed.
I went out to check at one point and the storm clouds seemed to be getting heavier and heavier.  The entire crowd eventually came outside as well, but we decided to leave and get some dinner.  Thankfully, just as we left, the bottom fell out and it stormed for several hours.
The next morning brought sunny skies and high humidity, but Ron and I ran the First Balloon Rally 5K.  It was a flat course and a smallish crowd, so it was fun.
That evening, we braved the heat once again to go back out to the Rally.  This time, Callie, Jordan and the boys joined us.
It was HOT and there was little shade except around the perimeter, so we set up in that area.
Baby D kept cool with some "green ice"and by misting himself (or should I say drenching himself) with the little fan I brought.

Baby D2 played with mama and rested.
When the balloons finally arrived, we watched them set up and give people rides.
Callie and Jordan opted to leave in time for a regular bedtime for the boys, but Ron and I stayed and enjoyed watching the rest of the balloons arrive and set up.
The balloon glow was really nice
as were the fireworks that followed.
I'll leave you with a bit of a twinkle that I caught on my phone.

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