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Hot Air Balloon Festivals
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Blue skies filled with balloons of every imaginable color. Tell us about a Hot Air or Gas Balloon festival or rally in your area!
Expanded Description:
When asked, when was the first manned flight? Most people respond that it was the Wright Brothers in 1903. WRONG! One hundred twenty-three years earlier in 1783 two other brothers, Jacques and Joseph Montgolfier designed and built a hot air balloon in which Pilatre De Rozier and the Marquis d'Arlandes flew out of Paris, France. They flew to a height of 500 feet, traveled 5.5 miles and landed safely. The science, sport, business, and adventure of manned flight was begun.

Ten days later the first gas balloon also flew in France with physicist Jacques Charles at the helm. Gas balloons use lighter than air gas such as methane, ammonia, hyrogen or helium to provide the lift. Because there wasn't a safe and effecient way to carry fire aboard to provide lift for a hot air balloon, gas balloons became the accepted form of flight. The disadvantage with gas balloons is the high cost of the gas which is lost when released after each flight.

In 1960, American Ed Yost experimented with constructed hot air balloons using a propane burner to heat the air inside the balloon. This system was both safe and effecient and created a resurgence in the popularity of hot air ballooning.

Human nature being what it is, it wasn't long before several balloonist got together to have a "Race". Early balloon races usually involved seeing who can fly the farthest from a common starting point. But that makes for a poor spectator sport. Modern balloon "races" are competitions of flying skill to try to fly an unpowered craft with no steering wheel or control surfaces from point A to point B. "Hare and hound races" are the most popular type of event where one balloon (the Hare) takes off first and the other balloons (the Hounds) chase him. The hare lands after a while and lays out a large cloth "X". The hounds now have to try to fly to the X and drop a weighted baggie or marker to record a score.

Balloon festivals or rallies can be found almost everywhere in the world. There are usually several on any given weekend somewhere. Search the web for balloon festivals in your area and go out to join the fun.

A great way to get more enjoyment is to volunteer to help with the rally or to join a chase crew. Festivals are always looking for people to help. You might even get a balloon ride. I try to take my crew up as often as I can. (Disclaimer: Not all pilots are as nice as me but most love to share their sport with others.)

Ballooning is one of the greatest experiences you can have. It is so great that we toast the first timers at the end of each flight with the "Balloonist's Blessing"

The winds have welcomed you with softness.
The sun has blessed you with it's warm hands.
You have flown so high, and so well,
that God has joined you in laughter
and gently set you back again,
into the loving arms of mother earth.

Instructions for Posting a Hot Air Balloon Festivals Waymark:
To qualify for posting, the balloon festival or rally must be an officially organized Hot Air or Gas Ballooning event. These events are typically organized and/or sanctioned by a local ballooning club, local government, or chamber of commerce. There is often an associated website.

To find a local event or to learn more about Hot Air or Gas Ballooning take a look at the Balloon Federation of America's website here: (visit link)

To post a waymark the finder must:

Give the name of the event.
Post the coordinates of the launch field.
Give the city, state/prov, and country.
Post the dates of the event.
Tell us the number of balloons participating.
Tell us who is the organizing club, group, C of C or government.
Post the associated website if available.
Instructions for Visiting a Waymark in this Category:
Attend the festival.
Give the name of the event.
Post the coordinates of the launch field.
Give the city, state/prov, and country.
Tell us the number of balloons participating.
Post the associated website if available and/or the organizing group.

Post a picture of yourself with one of the pilots, crew, volunteers, or in front of one of the balloons involved with the rally. (Pilots and crew are usually very approachable and willing to help.)
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Image for Festival Montgolfiers de Gatineau, Quebec, Canadaview gallery

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Hot Air Balloon FestivalsFestival Montgolfiers de Gatineau, Quebec, Canada

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Festival Montgolfiers du Gatineau, or the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival, just across the Ottawa River from the nation’s capital in Gatineau, Quebec, Canada.

posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Wayfinder Zukon

location: Québec, Canada

date approved: 1/14/2006

last visited: 9/9/2012

Image for Kinsmen Cornwall Lift-Off - Cornwall, Ontarioview gallery

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Hot Air Balloon FestivalsKinsmen Cornwall Lift-Off - Cornwall, Ontario

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2014 is the 20th Anniversary of Cornwall Lift-Off. The primary launch field is in downtown Cornwall in Lamoureux Park between Water Street and the St. Lawrence River near the Cornwall Civic Complex.

posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member mTn_biKer65

location: Ontario, Canada

date approved: 7/15/2014

last visited: never

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