Sunday, June 20, 2010

Thurston Classic Hot Air Balloon Event

We went to our first ever hot air balloon event. This was the 22nd year that the Thurston Classic has been held in Meadville. Attracting 30,000 - 35,000 spectators, the Thurston Classic consists of events and balloon races over three days. While there was more waiting around for perfect weather conditions than I anticipated, the  view was spectacular once the balloons went up.
In the 'race' we saw, the pilots fly the balloons to an outlying target that is kept secret from them until moments before the start of the race. Once over the target, they drop a beanbag. The closest to the target wins.

The kids and their cousins during the long wait. The race, scheduled for 6 pm, finally started after 7 pm. Although the weather was perfect, it was so warm that conditions could change quickly and officials decided to wait until it cooled down a bit.

The baskets and balloons, waiting to get the all clear.

The balloons as they inflate.

No comments: