One of our favorite weekends is almost here! Yes, we’re talking about Flag City Balloon Fest. It takes flight on August 7 and then the balloons fly away on August 9.
We are especially excited because our balloon, Independence, is coming home for the weekend.
Independence is flown by Phil Clinger and his crew at Altitude Endeavors. Phil is not only a fantastic pilot, but he also loves Findlay. And we are so proud that he flies Independence throughout the Great Lakes region to tell everyone about Findlay and Hancock County. If you’re lucky enough to see Phil during the weekend, be sure to thank him for spreading the word about our area!
But in addition to our balloon coming home, there is a certain amount of magic that comes over the town.
There is something exciting right from the start when we all see vans emblazoned with hot air balloons and carrying large baskets on their backs. For me, I have to stop myself from following them and asking every single question about hot air balloons I have. I’m sure I’m not alone.
And then they take flight. From the ground, it’s hard not to stand with mouth agape as you watch them magically float through the air. Yes, there is a scientific explanation for how it works, but it still feels like magic. It’s a magic that draws you to chase after them as they fly throughout the town.
If you’re lucky enough to go up in a balloon, it seems even more unbelievable. The basket below your feet becomes like an elevator as you inexplicably go up, up and away. With a big smile on your face, you wave to all of those on the ground, even though they likely can’t see you. Because going up in a balloon is pretty much the best day ever, so you want to share it.
Finally, each day ends with a glow. What’s a glow? It’s when all of the balloons stay on the ground and light up their balloons at night. The warm glow it produces is almost as enjoyable as seeing them fly through the air. The crowd counts down together and then yells, “GLOW!” We’re all in it together as we signal to the pilots to light up their balloons. And when they do, it’s hard to not let a giggle escape.