The Centralia Balloon Fest

The balloon glow Friday night. Probably should have dragged along a tripod, but meh, I wasn’t workin’.

Meghan and I went to the Centralia Balloon Fest on Friday, August 17, dragging her cousin, JoAnn Dailey with us for the ride. Plus she drove, which was nice because we were a little broke to y’know, afford gas. Yay Jo!

The festival itself cost $3 to get in to, which is a pretty good deal. Heck of a lot of people for Southern Illinois, but it’s a pretty cool sight. You can get right up to the balloons, see how they get inflated and talk to the pilots. If you find yourself in Southern Illinois in the middle of August, come check this thing out. We were not disappointed that we did, and we’ll be back next year, schedules permitting.

This guy is Kevin Heinzmann, who pilots “Drifting Dolphins” with his wife, Emily. I said I want a closeup picture of the flames and he said “Which one?” and began showing me the different jets he could shoot up into the envelope to help that sucker float.

Spectators get right next to a balloon as it’s being inflated for the glow.

Here’s Meghan with JoAnn in front of one of the balloons. And Jo has Kettle Corn, which she shared with her broke friends. Once again, yay Jo!

This guy’s name is Humpty Dumpty, and he’s been all around the world. He’s piloted by Rich Lawhorn.

Here’s the one that’s probably my favorite shot, looking across the lake as one of the balloons prepares for the glow.

This one here is Meghan’s favorite. It’s another one across the lake, and it was shot during the glow. You can see all the people around it.

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