In early July my two wonderful friends had a great idea….
to go to a hot air balloon festival! At first I almost didn’t go, since I wasn’t all that interested in hot air balloons, but somehow Saige found out about it and threatened to leave the doll room if I didn’t go and didn’t take her with me. So I had no choice.
I’m actually thrilled I went and even more thrilled that I brought Saige. Unlike my sister, my amazing friends were not at all embarrassed that a doll was tagging along with me. They even had great ideas on where/how to pose her for photos.
Before we even entered the park, Saige got some people excited. We had to go through security where they checked people’s bags. I had put Saige at the bottom of my tote basket with my water bottle on top, my camera, and a jacket. When the security guard fished in my bag she screamed!
I burst out laughing and showed Saige to her.
“Holy cow! I thought that thing was a baby!!” she cried.
“You mean, I’m the only one at the festival to bring a doll?” I asked.
“Yes, ma’am and I hope you’ll stay the only one to bring a doll. I’ve had my heart attack of the day and I don’t want another one!”
Giggling, we walked down a path and into the park. The first thing we saw were the carnival rides to our right, and the tent shops straight ahead. We had to go through the outside market before we reached the balloons. Abby and I took a rest at the Adirondack booth. Evie took a pic of us to show my sister, who is spending the summer in the Adirondack mountains in NY! Hi, Hillary!
We walked some more looking at all the bright and shiny things to buy when I noticed something up ahead, gasped, and ran straight to it. A whole booth chock full of homemade AG outfits! When I got closer though, I was a bit disappointed. The material of almost every outfit was kind of cheap and the prices were pretty high so I didn’t buy anything. But it was fun to see.
Finally we got through all the shops and in where the balloons were…but there were only two of them there!
We found out later that many more were going to come for the Balloon Burning festival.
“Let me out!” said Saige. I took her out and we posed her for a bunch of pics:
A lady next to us was watching us take all these photos of Saige and she said, “What a great idea to bring a doll to a special event! My daughter used to bring an ugly old gnome and take pictures of it everywhere she went, but a doll is so much prettier. And that one is especially pretty.”
I thanked her and told her I have a huge lot of dolls and bring one to any event I go to that goes along with her character. Then we went back to taking more pics:
By this time, Saige was getting bored with having her picture taken next to the balloons, she wanted to get in a balloon.
“We’ll see, just be patient,” I told her.
We found out that all the tickets to ride the balloons had been sold out but if we came back at 8:30 there might be some left that people hadn’t claimed. While we waited for the evening to come, we explored some more of the fair.
We saw a cyclist riding on a circular track, and connected to him was a woman suspended on a rope on the other side doing stunts while he drove around, spinning her with him.
He drove quite fast while she performed many acrobatic tricks.
Next door, I felt like I was hearing extremely loud flies buzzing around. I looked and saw a cage with two motorcyclists inside doing crazy tricks up the walls and flying around the top.
Walking along some more, we discovered more shops. One was all about hot air balloons. Saige saw a banner of a whole bunch of them flying and said, “This is what it was like in New Mexico. The balloons were free to fly and there were so many of them!”
“Yeah, this isn’t New Mexico,” I said, “Here, the balloons are tethered to the ground and only allowed to go up 100ft.”
“But maybe that’s better,” Saige replied, “Because then you can really see them up close, not way up, and drifting away.”
We saw some more tethered balloons made out of soda cans! Abby is a pop can artist, I hope she might one day be able to recreate that.
There were so many different kinds of hot air balloons for sale; blown glass (above), little ornaments,
wind socks, and mobiles.
We spotted some beach ball hot air balloons and we knew we had to buy them.
“Yay! I get my very own hot air balloon!” Saige cried.
As the late afternoon wore on, more balloons began to be blown up.
And all the people were gathering to watch the balloon burning.
No, this is not a show where they burn the balloons down, but rather, they will burn the balloons up, and it’s quite a sight to see.
So many different balloons in such a variety of different shapes and sizes. It was hard to pick a favorite.
And then, the show began.
An MC told the audience what else to see at the fair and then he would interrupt himself and start a count down: 5…4…3….2….1
And ALL the balloons would light up together! I kept going back and forth taking pictures of the balloons in front of me, and the beautiful sunset behind me:
“Heather! Quick turn around! The balloons are lighting up again!” Saige said.
“I know but this sunset is so pretty. We should take a picture of you in it.
“Yeah, but these balloons are so cool! Oh look they’re all twinkling now!”
“Come on, Saige, stand here, and let me take a picture of you with this sunset.”
“It’s like a New Mexico sky,” admired Saige,
“One more pic of the balloons.”
By this time it was getting to be close to 8:30 and we made sure we were standing in line to hopefully get a ticket.
When we got close to the head of the line we were told that the two original balloons would continue taking people up until 9:00 and you didn’t need an advanced ticket! We were going to get to go!
The balloon burning show ended while we continued to stand in line and we watched each balloon deflate and fall gracefully to the ground.
“Watch out! The cake is tipping!”
Soon, all the balloons had been deflated, and packed up. The line we stood in moved ve–ry slowly. By the time we got to the front it was completely dark out.
We chose the red and white checked one to go up in.
We watched it come closer and closer to us and then we got to go in. We had to take turns getting in the basket because if everyone leaves it, it will start going up, so one person got out while one person got in to keep the weight consistent.
I was one of the first in our group to get in so I was able to take plenty of pictures up close. Up above is the ‘engine’ of the balloon, the flame.
“It’s so hot! I feel like my hair is going to catch fire!”
I felt Saige’s hair, and sure enough, it was very warm and her vinyl was soft. I held her away from the flame.
As I was taking a picture of the flame, I realized we had already started going up and I hadn’t even noticed!
Although it was a nice view in real life, the pictures didn’t really come out since it was nighttime.
Saige took a selfie in the balloon as it began to descend. The pilot warned us to hold on as we felt a big bump when we touched the ground.
“That was really cool!” said Saige, “I’m glad I got to do that. It reminds me of when I got to go up in the balloon with my dad and we would go so high-”
But Saige didn’t get to finish her reminiscing because just then, the fireworks started.
“Oooh! Fireworks! Okay, please stop taking picture of me in front of the fireworks. I want to actually see them, too!” said Saige.
I took one final picture of Saige up against the night sky with the fireworks and balloons and then she sat down on the grass with us to watch the display.
“I love fireworks. They’re so cool,” Saige admired.
“They are neat, but they’re nothing like the fireworks we have at home. Those are spectacular.”
“How come you never take any dolls to see them?”
“I have been sorely tempted, but it’s just way too crowded. But this is perfect, Saige, I’ve always wanted to take a picture of a doll watching fireworks and I finally got to do it with you!”
“Aw, thanks, Heather. This day has been so great. I can’t wait to tell everyone back home about it.”
Stay tuned for tons and tons of Dollympic posts coming up for the month of August. I was going to post everything to coincide with the human Olympics but I’m just so excited about it I think I’m just going to post some Dollympic stuff early.