There were two days I was waiting for with the most anticipation at the fiesta, Flight of the Nations and the Glow Rodeo! Tonight was the magical night for the glow rodeo and I could barely contain my excitement.
Sounds simple enough to explain but it was one of the events I had see the most photographs of in the last several years and I waited with great anticipation to attend this event. We went twice on this particular day, the first portion of the day was spent on the field in the morning, this was the first morning I had spent the majority of the morning not looking towards the sky as the balloons lifted high above my head but instead I looked around me at the waves of crowds that swarmed in around me. I watched the faces of the people around me, mothers educating their children, children struck in silence by the vast colors that are lifting into the sky and elders who have finally checked an item off their bucket list. When you spend your time looking at people’s faces rather than the balloons lifting off around you it is amazing how much you really see.
You see locals who are busy collecting pins from the various balloon teams to add to their jackets which are already heavily adorned with pins from previous years, you see out of town visitors from not far away and then you see visitors from the other side of the world, elders holding hands as they turn their faces towards the morning dawn peaking over the Sandia Mountains welcoming the warmth the sun brings into the valley.
If that didn’t catch your attention then it was hard to not turn your gaze towards the sky. Every direction you looked there were balloons inflating, taking off and gracefully gliding across the sky. I don’t think that view will ever get old for me…it is a constantly changing kaleidoscope of colors and shapes, how could someone get bored with that kind of view?
The only worrisome portion of the morning was when we thought the flight was going to be cancelled for the special shapes. Since they are more of a flight hazard than the regular shaped balloons the weather conditions have to be PERFECT in order for them to take off. The wind never really ceased to be a concern for the officials so when the final gust of wind came blowing through it was nearly in the blink of an eye, all of the balloons began to deflate all at once. The field was shut down for launches…it suddenly got very quiet on the field, now that there weren’t giant industrial fans blowing, burners igniting randomly or crews communicating over all the noise by yelling at one another.
But thankfully the silence didn’t last long, though the special shapes weren’t able to take off they still tethered down so the public could see them inflated. Boy! If you thought the regular balloons were big these are HUGE!!
We didn’t stay long after the balloons were told they couldn’t take off, we decided it would be good to go home and take a siesta, do homework, (for me do homework and work), play in the backyard and just take the afternoon to rest a little. Around 6pm we were watching the news to see whether or not the glow rodeo would be cancelled or not, since the field said they were good to go we packed up and headed back to the field.
As the sun began to set and the cool mountain air began blow down the valley chilling the evening air. We waited with anticipation to see if they would call off the glow rodeo because of the wind but luckily our waiting paid off as the first balloons began to light up across the field.
Now put out of your mind anything you may think about a firework show…because if that is your point of reference to a night light show then you, like me, are in for a surprise! As the sun set and the little lights began to pop up all over the field my breathe was physically taken away from my body. I had never seen anything like the sight before my eyes, because there were no words it was like a magical fairy land. With fairy lights popping up throughout the night sky
I just wanted to leave you with this final thought about this amazing and magical experience I had at the 2016 Balloon Fiesta.
Traveling Photographer Out…