23 September 2014

STL Adventures: The Great Forest Park Balloon Race

Ever since we moved to St. Louis, I’ve wanted to attend the festivities for the Forest Park Balloon Race. Specifically, I really really wanted to go to the balloon glow the evening before the race. Only problem was, for the first two years we were here, I forgot to pay any attention to when it was. So our first year here... missed it. Second year here... missed it again.

But this year! This year Mr. P and I paid attention and put it on our calendars and even got friends involved. Third time’s a charm.

Forest Park is literally across the street from my campus, so we met up with a group of friends at our workplace last Friday night and walked over to the field where the balloons were set up. We weren’t 100% sure where we were headed, but that’s okay, because everyone else in the city was heading in that direction too. (I couldn’t find a final count, but predictions were for over 80,000 people to attend the glow!)

So after following the other shadows, we hiked up the last hill...

And were delighted by the scene!

Even though the crowd was INSANELY dense, it was still pretty neat to stand in the middle of it all.

I tried to pick a favorite balloon, and was somewhat partial to this one because, hey, black and white polka dots:

Ok, fine, it’s supposed to be a golf ball. But polka dots are way more fun!

There were balloons with fun logos, but also balloons in fun shapes.

Even though it was a fairly mild evening (right around 70 degrees), it ended up being quite warm on the field. I mean, who knew all that fire would be hot? At a hot air balloon glow? I know, I never would have guessed either.

In addition to being surprisingly (for me, because sometimes I am dumb) warm, it was also quite bright. Bright enough to be able to see the fun we were all having!

Not to mention the excitement of the people all around us – especially the kids!

Something about hot air balloons can bring out the kid in everyone, I suppose. That’s why the following day, when we were home during the balloon race, I started calling out to Mr. P because I could see balloons out our window oh em gee! Look, Mr. P! Look! Balloons! Outside our window!

And another! And another! I knew this apartment was in a fantastic location.

Now I can finally the Forest Park balloon glow off my St. Louis list! And hopefully, I’ll remember to put it on my calendar next year, too.


Janice said...

We have an annual Balloonfest here as well. Totally cool. Got to see a competition once and this year we TRIED to see the balloon glow. I was totally useless and thought I heard it started at 9:30... after sunset... so you could SEE the glow. Need my hearing checked. It started an hour EARLIER! Aarrrgh. We were treated to some of the beauty like the "twinkles" and "all glows" they did but only about 15 min. instead of the 60 min it actually happened. I would def. go again though! If the winds are right, the balloons have been known to LAND in my neighborhood! Balloons are fun.