My Labor Day weekend was spent with my wife and in-laws. Part of our time was spent in Dansville, NY for the New York State Festival of Balloons.
Our plan was to watch the balloon launch Monday night at 6:00pm. We arrived right on time and there were quite a few balloons being inflated, but due to the inclement weather only one balloon actually lifted off untethered. We decided to try our luck again the next morning.
The alarm went off at 5:00am and we hopped in the car and drove back up to the Dansville airport. When we arrived, it looked like the weather was going to prevent the launching again. We stood around for about 30 minutes waiting to see some activity where the balloonists usually prepare to lift-off. But seeing no activity we decided to call it quits and drive back home. Just as we had gotten back on the highway, we had second thoughts and figured since this was the last day of the festival, that maybe we should stick around for a little while longer. We turned around and we headed to McDonalds to have breakfast and wait a while longer. As we were discussing whether we should just drive back home if the weather didn’t improve, we overheard a few people saying that the balloons were launching. We went outside and were greeted with the magnificent sight of 8 Hot Air Balloons lifting off. Here is a photo of us (minus me. There is a reason I take the photos you know!) looking pretty at 6am in the morning.
And the liftoff of the balloons…
I counted 22 balloons in the air and there may have been as many as 25. It was really interesting to see how the wind currents took some of them in one direction while others headed off in another direction. Apparently the wind in Dansville can swirl because of the surrounding hills making things a little unpredictable.
After all the balloons had become airborne, we decided to leave. We soon noticed a ReMax balloon headed in the same direction we were going on our way back to Wayland, so we decided to track the balloon and took off on backroads trying to watch its eventual landing. Here is a series of photos which shows our adventure.
Traditionally, when a Hot Air Balloon lands on your property, the crew gives the land-owners a bottle of champagne as a gesture of thanks for allowing them to land. As it turns out, the balloon landed within about 100 feet of my father-in-laws property. Darn! So close, yet so far to a bottle of champagne. It sure was fun watching the balloons and something you should consider doing in the future. the Balloon Festival is Labor Day weekend every year in Dansville, NY.