Liberty Just in Case

A Dialogue for the September 12th World

SOS Saturday – The Great Reno Balloon Race

Posted by zaphriel on September 10, 2005

The Great Reno Balloon Races occur about this time every year, the weekend after labor day. How do you race a balloon you might ask, well it’s not how you think. And in all actuality it isn’t a race at all, not really, it is however a competition. One of the events is a hare and hound race. A small “hare” (this year they were bumblebee balloons) sets off and drops a target nearby that the other larger “hound” balloons must throw bean bags on. The closest to the target wins. Simple and fun. But the “race” is less about the competition as it is about the joy of seeing colorful bags of hot air ascend into the sky. And the sense of wonder in your child eye as their favorite character or balloon comes to life in front of them and raise impossibly into the wind.

On a great day, which today was not, the wind is calm and the balloons are colorful. The biggest and most majestic balloons are silhouetted by the dawn sky. But alas, today was not the best of days. It was a bit windy and just a little drizzly. Balloons do not like to fly with even slight adverse conditions. But they did eventually get off the ground. There were all types, from the Wells Fargo Wagon, to the bumblebees, and panda bears. Colorful balloons of all imaginable patterns and colors rose into the cloud filled sky. Today was not the best I have ever seen, but it was nice, and they forecast a better morning tomorrow, so we will go check it out.

We have to get there early though, the best part happens around 5am. They call it the Glow Show and Dawn Patrol. Just before dawn, a select number of balloons inflate, tethered to the ground, and put on a glow show timed to music. it is a wondrous and fantastic sight to see. Then as the sun rises, these balloons, joined by a few more, raise into the air to greet the dawn. It’s a little chilly to watch, but you will never see another sight like it at any other time. It’s great fun and the best quality time you will get with your kids (or even your inner child) that early in the morning.

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