The one thing I noticed after a few days at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, is that the crews of the individual balloons have a sense of humor. For instance, these Storm Troopers, and other characters, were the crew for Darth Vader.
I saw this lovely lady and asked to take her photo. She replied, "Sure! We're all dressed like this! We're the crew for the pink elephant! Come on down to see us!"
And this adorable gentleman was the pilot of the hen balloon.
Obviously these ladies were part of his crew.
As the sun slowly slipped out of the sky, balloons started to pop up all over the field (which is the size of 6 football fields put together!) It was amazing to see the shapes taking form. Local news choppers were flying above covering the event. I bet that was a sight to see!
The balloons were tethered, but to stay upright, had to intermittently have a shot of gas. Some of the larger balloons were having problems staying afloat. Here's one of the Wells Fargo Stagecoach that is just about touching the ground. You can see the people walking around the "wheels" of the stagecoach - it was that low! Airabelle, the cow, was low, too. We had to walk through her legs! LOL!
As dusk approached, we could see the balloons light up.
Some balloons weren't translucent enough to light up; you would only see the light of the fire. I love the silhouette of Noah's Ark against the recent sunset.
Before we knew it, the sky had darkened completely. Then we could REALLY see the balloons!
You cannot believe the heat that comes off of these flames when the pilot pulls on the metal rung that releases the gas. That flame shoots up so high into the balloon!
The announcer on the P.A. system would call out an "all burn", then count down from 10. When it got down to 1, then he'd say, "ALL BURN!" The park would light up with 80+ balloons, their flames shooting high!
Sometimes the announcer would call out "Flicker", and count down from 10. When he got to 1, then he'd say, "FLICKER!" All the balloons would flicker on and off.
The show ended with fireworks. We already were leaving the park at that point. I shot this photo out of our moving truck. I kind of like the effects, don't you?
My next post is of the mass ascension - over 700 balloons taking off one after another. That will be my last post on the Balloon Fiesta. I hope your not "ballooned-out"!