38.6 Hot Air Balloon Festival – Quilts in the Sky

November 22, 2015

Hello! I am working back through some wonderful experiences I would love to share with you extending back this fall.

The first was a month ago, the Great Midwest Balloon Festival. Normally held in August, but this years’ later time gave us opportunity to view the pretty leaves of fall in addition to the pretty balloons.

I am pretty much a sucker for quiet events, balloons, fall, outdoors, the park.

I see balloons as “quilts in the air”. So pretty color combinations, I see bargello style ‘quilts’, applique, chevron, patchwork, jelly roll stripes all sorts of quilts and styles up in the sky.

Orange, yellow, and brown hot air balloon

There is usually a big festival with rides, vendors, food, competition.  Every year since I have planned attending, I have gone on my own for the morning competition, rather than viewing the pretty balloon glow that draws so many others.

This year, the balloon festival was near last year, on the west side of the city, near the speedway, but actually closer to our annual permanent location of the Renaissance Festival grounds.


The first day of the festival was misty and windy so it was cancelled for the early morning part of the day, not reopening until the night glows on Saturday.

Sunday morning, rather than head to the crowds, I took refuge in the local next door county park. It was so beautiful. The balloons had to travel past the park to head to the festival grounds.


I originally hesitated heading to the park due to the presence of “many people” on the southern park entrance that were racing a 5K blocking that entrance. Luckily, I got brave enough to try a more northern entrance, so I wasn’t doomed to see the pretty “sky quilts”.

I tore through the park, under the trees, walking to an “upper ridge” area in the middle of some kind of cross country track in the middle of the park grass.


From my vantage point, I could hear the hot air balloons pass over me. The black balloon with the rabbit, carrot, and parrot was “right above me” poking out of the trees, a little behind where I chose to stand for most of the morning.

I remember feeling in awe of that hot air balloon.


I saw balloons coming from the east of the morning, using the trees as interesting frames for some of my shots.


I have some close pictures, some far pictures. I snapped many versions of the same picture, just seconds apart, just to ensure I got a good picture. I kept wishing I had a DSLR.




Some balloons I have multiple full-on shots of, a few of the more interesting ones were out of frame a little to the south. I found I liked staying in one general area.

Another “park photographer” had set up not too far from me, and both of us were looking around behind, in front, to the side, trying to get the best of the morning.





Later in the morning, before the last of the balloons, I ventured near one of the park shelters. This got me a picture of a couple of balloons nearby the structure too.



I tried to zoom and tried not to zoom sometimes to get the bigger picture of the hot air balloons.



Sometimes I get a sense of the hot air balloon movement by looking at three consecutive pictures taken right after another.


I took way more pictures than I ever posted. It was so beautiful and magical!

If you want to see my whole flickr set, which is over 70 pictures, follow the link below:

GM Balloon Fest on flickr

Stay tuned and I will talk about actual quilts soon. I have several things to share!

One comment

  1. These are beautiful photos!

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