Hot Air Balloons…

I love hot air balloons, but have never had the chance to photograph them…until last night! Our little city held its annual Fall Festival and Balloon Glow and I never knew they had a balloon glow. Where have I been? I do admit that it’s been many years since I’ve been to the festival (not since my children were little and they’re grown now) so I don’t know when they added the hot air balloons, but I’m glad they did!

Here’s a quick story about my experience with hot air balloons…when my children were younger, about 8 & 9 years old, we saw a brightly colored hot air balloon coming closer and closer to our house. We had almost an acre side yard with an empty lot next door – a perfect landing spot. The balloon landed, threw out ropes for us to help hold it down, and the occupants climbed out of the wicker basket. You don’t realize how very big a hot air balloon is until you’re standing next to it!

The pilot told us that traditionally each time a hot air balloon lands champagne is shared with the landowner. This custom originated back in the 1700s to help make peace with the farmer whose land they had disturbed. We toasted the safe landing of the hot air balloon and its passengers and wished them well as their chase crew loaded it up and hauled it away.

Added to my bucket list…a ride in a hot air balloon!

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Bikes, trikes, and the biggest sprinkler you’ve ever seen…

The recreation center in our town sponsors a Small Fry Triathlon every year for kids ages 2 years to 6 years. They take part in all three categories of a regular triathlon – run, bike & swim. They used tricycles, bikes with training wheels, bikes with no training wheels, scooters, and all sorts of riding toys. For some of the kids this was a new adventure and they needed their “personal coach” to help encourage them. The more experienced athletes had little trouble finishing the course with encouragement from the sidelines.

Since these are little ones, their swim part of the course was running through the biggest sprinkler I’ve ever seen! Before the race I spoke with a dad of a 2 year old who was new to the event to be prepared to get wet when it came time for his child to run through the sprinklers. He assured me that his little one loved sprinklers. I assured him this was no ordinary sprinkler! You see, one end of a fire hose is attached to pcv pipes with small holes drilled in them. It runs down both sides of the entire length of the “swim” course. The other end of the fire hose is attached to a fire hydrant! There’s so much water spraying out that it produces a big, beautiful rainbow at the end of the course! Did the dad get wet? Yes, yes he did! And so did a lot of other parents.

All participants were awarded a medal for their championship finish. Thanks to the Bartlett Recreation Center for investing in young athletes!

Look through photos of the entire event here…

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