Aunt ‘Chelle, Uncle J, Emmie, and JJ came to visit us. Jen had heard that the Preakness Balloon Festival was awesome, so we decided to go for the fun. We got there a few minutes after things got started Friday, and headed straight to the tethered rides as we knew the line could get long. The line was already significant, but we knew it would get worse so we got in line anyway. Unfortunately, it was windy and they had to suspend tethered rides shortly after we got in line.
Jen and Michelle were kind enough to hold our spot in line, so Jeremy and I took the kids to explore all the vendors set up. The obvious destination was the climbing wall, which both Emmie and Molly wanted to try their hand at. Emmie was first.
And Molly went when she was done.
We then found the Hawaiian ice truck for a sweet treat. We took these back to Jen and Michelle to see how the line was doing. Sadly, it was still too windy to fly, so we all sat down in the grass in line to eat our treats.
And that’s where we stayed for much of the day. Some of us wandered off to throw a frisbee for a while, but mostly we just hung out. It was kind of a cross between a picnic and sitting in line. It was very nice outside - the breeze was lovely for people, if not for balloons.
We hung out in line from a little after 4 until 7, coming to grips with the fact that the balloons were not going to fly that day. Then, the wind calmed down and balloons started to get inflated. We grabbed some quick pictures with balloons in the background, assuming they would soon be taken down again.
To our surprise, some of the balloons that had been chartered started to take off and fly away.
And around 7:30, tethered rides resumed operation. Everyone in line promptly jumped up to reform into a proper line rather than a series of picnics in a row.
We still waited an hour and fifteen minutes in line before it was our turn. In that time, it got dark. But we made it. Molly, Leah, and Emmie wanted to ride, and Uncle J kindly agreed to be the adult to go up with them. They were all very excited.
There are lots of pictures on Flickr, but I’ll just post a few here.
The girls might have enjoyed it just a bit.
After a long day, we decided to leave before the grand finale to try to beat traffic (there was a lot of traffic). We managed to catch the Balloon Glow, though, as we were leaving. The balloons all lit their fires at about the same time. We have no regrets about leaving before it, though if we wanted to beat traffic completely we should have left just a little bit earlier than we did.
Despite parking, traffic, and wind troubles, we had a really fun time.