Saturday Spotlight on Ohio: Flag City BalloonFest

When I first started this blog I posted about places in Ohio I would like to visit. I have visited some of them since then, but there are still many places on my list. Now as my time here is dwindling, there are sights and sounds around the state I want to spotlight. Some are old-time favorites, others I have been introduced to only recently and the rest are places on my to-do list. These places include restaurants, museums, gardens and other institutions, all reasons why I truly do love this state.

My last installment was Marblehead Lighthouse. Up this week is the Flag City BalloonFest in Findlay.

BalloonFest is this weekend, Aug. 12-14, at Emory Adams Park, southeast of the intersection of South Blanchard and Sixth streets, and is an event with 40 hot air balloons. Yesterday morning I got to go up in the sky with Ken Myers, the pilot of Ralphie 2, so that I could write an article for today’s newspaper (Balloonists take to the sky, ‘get together and have a ball’). Myers was quite entertaining and took me on a fantastic flight.

That's me standing inside Ralphie 2 as it inflates

Floating through the air in a wicker basket is rather amazing. Hot air balloons do not take off in bad weather, so the flight should be graceful and gentle. Mine was.My take off was so gentle that it was hard to tell the exact instant we left the ground. Myers said that yesterday’s weather was about as good as it gets.

Ralphie 2 reflecting in the Blanchard River

Morning departures, though, leave rather early, so I was up before the crack of dawn, which rarely happens. Conditions are ideal in the early morning and early evening.

Flights at BalloonFest are scheduled around that. There is a 6 p.m. flight tonight and a 7 a.m. flight Sunday.

Also tonight is a hot air balloon illumination at 8:30 p.m.

I would recommend being at Emory Adams for a flight and illumination. I have stood in awe twice watching the balloons being prepared for flight. And then at night, the illumination means that the propane used to heat the air that fills the envelope, the fabric part of the hot air balloon, glows in the dark.

Friday night illumination in 2010

To learn more about the festival, visit

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6 Responses to Saturday Spotlight on Ohio: Flag City BalloonFest

  1. Balloon festivals remind me of my childhood in Pennsylvania for some reason. I got huge deja vu while reading this post!

  2. Kris says:

    Love your pictures! I hope you don’t mind, but we mentioned you on our tumblr: =)

    – Kristina

  3. Drat, I missed another Balloon Fest! But I guess it’s okay, since I did get to go up in one in Monument Valley! :) I agree that it’s fascinating watching the balloon get inflated — so much work goes into it, and the flight is over relatively quickly (compared with how long it takes to prepare, at least). I can’t imagine how cool it would be to see so many up in the sky at once!

    • elliewick says:

      I’d love to go on a flight where I wasn’t trying to do 500 things at the same time while juggling a video camera, a regular camera, and a pen and paper. I tried to relax on this flight but still felt crazy. I would like to see something other than Findlay from the air, too. Monument Valley looks like it would be a great view from the air!

  4. Pingback: Saturday Spotlight on Ohio: Hancock Historical Museum and the Back Street Festival | travelin' the globe

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