I hit the Balloon Fiesta the last weekend it was happening. I got up around 5 am to be there for the Mass Ascension at 7. By 6:50, I was still in a line of traffic and watching the balloons start to lift off while I was on the highway! (For reference, I’d suggest leaving A LOT OF TIME for traffic depending on where you’re coming from. Normally, it would have taken me 15 minutes to get there from where I was staying.)
As luck would have it though, I made a wrong turn (according to my GPS), got out of traffic, found a place to park and was able to walk to a prime location outside the Fiesta grounds where I was able to see the entire Ascension! Amazing luck!
I watched the Ascension by myself (of course) and felt like a little kid giggling with joy as all the different shapes and colors drifted up into the air: a whale, birds, a fire hydrant, Yoda and Darth Vader, two penguins, a giant scarecrow, a MASSIVE stage coach and so many more! It took a full hour and a half for all the balloons to get off the ground.
I would’ve liked to have gone back for the Balloon Glow in the evening, but opted out because of the traffic. Maybe next year!
MORE INFO: www.balloonfiesta.com