WRAL Freedom Balloon Fest

I am always fascinated by things that fly or airborne. Hot air balloon is one of them that I had not seen in real life. I often see them in the TV news. I know there are some activities in the state where I live but the places are long drive away. They are probably also private. Seeing a real hot air balloon was on my wish list.

WRAL Balloon Fest 2014

I guess it was my lucky day a couple of year back to hear  WRAL (a local TV station) organized the WRAL Freedom Balloon Fest at two locations. One of the locations was just about 30 minutes away. I normally do not pay much attention for what is going around. I was glad to hear about the event. Yeah!

WRAL Freedom Balloon Festival - 2

The WRAL Balloon Festival is free for public. They even provided free shuttle bus rides from the nearby mall parking lot to the site that year. There were sponsors and volunteers to help running the event. Since I was aware of the event, the festival is a yearly event around Memorial day weekend.  It is really a nice idea that WRAL, sponsors and volunteers to organize and run the event for the community.

WRAL Freedom Balloon Fest - 3

The near location is not a really big open field but there were a fair number of balloons at the event. The event started early in the morning and ran to dusk. My plan was to get there in the evening to avoid hot sun and hoped to see balloons in the night sky.

WRAL Freedom Balloon Fest - 4

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If you do not already know the process of how to get the balloon started airborne, the process to get the balloon airborne is interesting. It starts by putting air (“cold inflation”) using a fan to fill enough air into the balloon. Once good amount of air is inside the balloon, the frame is lit to make the air inside hot and that creates lift. Too bad, I did not recall this activity to look for during the event.

WRAL Freedom Balloon Fest - 6

WRAL Freedom Balloon Fest - 7

I believe the word “Freedom” part of the festival name is relating to freedom as freedom of the nation. Seeing a man can float up in the air makes me think it is also another kind of freedom. It is the deeper desire of human to be free to go anywhere possible. It is the freedom from being tied down by this earth.

WRAL Freedom Balloon Fest - 9

WRAL Freedom Balloon Fest - 10

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Today we have much better ways of air traveling than by hot air balloons but I can imagine the slow and gentle floating up the air will give you a different feel. No rush to get somewhere, look around for views from the high up, enjoy breeze and fresh air.  Definitely, it is quite less complicate to get airborne than other means. It works with the same concept as we most already familiar with – boat floating on water! No, I am not at all trying to say it is an easy thing as making things float on water. The balloon may look simple but things that let it flyable are by far not simple.

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I saw this long rope on the grass . The rope looks pretty strong and fairly thick. It suggests to me that once the balloon is airborne it needs quite strong rope to hold it.  Hmm, it though it is supposed to be lighter than air 😉

WRAL Freedom Balloon Fest - 12

I did not touch the fabric of the balloon but it looks so light and thin. I am quite certain that entire balloon can be folded into very compact. The fabric are so colorful. I think it is the part that draws most attention when we seem them in the sky.

WRAL Freedom Balloon Fest - 13

It was a very fun event for everyone. I spot this young lady posing to her husband. I could not help taking a picture of her at the same time. I was wondering how she looked in the picture taken by her husband. I love sneaking taking picture of people being taking pictures 🙂

WRAL Freedom Balloon Fest -14

Everyone looked relax and just enjoyed the afternoon summer time among in this fun event.WRAL Freedom Balloon Fest - 15

This picture is just to tell that I am not only a cat person. I also like dog a lot too 🙂

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I just love this scene, life full.

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The sun was low but it was going to be a while before the sun went down completely. I forgot that the day was long during summer time. I could not wait that long. Surprising, many people were still coming to the festival as I was leaving.
WRAL Freedom Balloon Fest - 19I hope you enjoy the balloon festival with me.


82 thoughts on “WRAL Freedom Balloon Fest

  1. wakasahs15th September 11, 2016 / 7:53 pm

    This is a great event. I am also want to look at the scenery from the sky ride in a hot air balloon.

    Liked by 4 people

    • YellowCable September 11, 2016 / 8:40 pm

      Thank you, Wakashs15th san. This was a very fun event. I think some got on the balloon but I was a bit afraid 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. anotherday2paradise September 11, 2016 / 9:50 pm

    Great photos, YC. I love the bright colours of the balloons and the one with the dog at the helm made me laugh. The rope image is interesting too. It looks extremely strong. Would you ever go up in a balloon for a ride? I don’t think that I would have the courage. 😕

    Liked by 4 people

    • YellowCable September 12, 2016 / 8:07 pm

      Thank you!!! You like the dog picture 🙂 I think the rope is very strong and from the look it seems very soft and flexible too.

      No, I would not go up in there too. I have to admit that I am afraid of height. I do not even like going up in a Ferris wheel especially with the open seats. I could get very panic 😦

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Gallivanta September 12, 2016 / 2:21 am

    Fabulous photos, YC. Like you I am a little afraid of getting into a balloon.

    Liked by 5 people

    • YellowCable September 12, 2016 / 7:59 pm

      Me too, I like balloons, air plane, helicopters, rockets, anything that flies but I am with you I am afraid of getting on one too. Thank you, Gallivanta.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Ralph September 12, 2016 / 6:32 am

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful day with the balloons YC. They are so colourful, aren’t they ? 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Anne-Ma September 12, 2016 / 7:36 am

    Très belles photos – Les montgolfières (ballons) ont de belles couleurs. 🙂

    Liked by 6 people

    • YellowCable September 12, 2016 / 7:57 pm

      Thank you! Yes, they are colorful. I think that is what people like them.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. lulu September 12, 2016 / 7:50 pm

    I’m crazy about hot air balloons and fly in one whenever opportunity is there.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. darwinontherocks September 13, 2016 / 7:38 am

    It’s so impressive to see them up-close and so nice to see them in the sky. I don’t think I will be brave enough to go into one though 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    • YellowCable September 13, 2016 / 8:14 pm

      Me too, I am afraid of height and think about things can go wrong too much too. Thank you!

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Otto von Münchow September 13, 2016 / 12:11 pm

    There is something very special and captivating about hot air balloons. Like you I have always had a desire to both be present at a festival and even ride a balloon. Maybe one day… Your photos are gorgeous.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. Jane Lurie September 13, 2016 / 3:27 pm

    I love balloon fests– so exciting and your photos have captured the scene beautifully. Such vividness.

    Liked by 4 people

    • YellowCable September 13, 2016 / 8:12 pm

      They are exiting and people seem to get much closer than other kind of air show. Thank you!

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Dalo 2013 September 14, 2016 / 7:48 am

    The atmosphere you describe here with both your photos and writing is fantastic ~ it seems so relaxed and fun, and I think you are right about the feeling of seeing balloons in the sky and the feeling we get of wanting to be free: “deeper desire of human to be free to go anywhere possible. It is the freedom from being tied down by this earth.” What a great day this must have been.

    Liked by 4 people

  11. Charlotte Hoather September 14, 2016 / 12:15 pm

    I love hot air balloons, they don’t seem quite safe enough for me to risk a journey in one but I love the colours and vitality in your photos, what a lovely day

    Liked by 4 people

    • YellowCable September 14, 2016 / 7:58 pm

      Yes, they can be and me too that I probably just enjoy the look of them 🙂 Thank you, Charlotte.

      Liked by 3 people

  12. The Passion Dew September 15, 2016 / 6:05 am

    Amazing ..amazing air balloons event ❤ ❤ 🙂 Beautiful colors balloons, wow! You are really enjoy that day YC, fantastic! Awesome pictures!

    Liked by 4 people

  13. lulu September 15, 2016 / 5:02 pm

    Am fascinated by hot air balloons and have hope of attending a festival.

    Liked by 4 people

  14. Kamila Pala September 17, 2016 / 6:59 am

    What amazing adventure! I like the colours in your photos! Have a nice weekend. Kamila

    Liked by 4 people

  15. AmyRose🌹 September 17, 2016 / 12:43 pm

    I had not realized how big these hot air balloons are!!! Awesome pictures, YellowCable, and how nice to see people actually relaxing! Wonderful post, one I really enjoyed!! Thank you!!! ❤

    Liked by 4 people

  16. prior.. September 18, 2016 / 3:43 pm

    your photos pdf this cool event (um, hot event too – ha!) are so varied and that made it a tour. I liked the inside of the basket, the deflated balloon on the ground – the people, and so much more…. coming back to soak it up some more YC

    Liked by 3 people

    • YellowCable September 18, 2016 / 4:38 pm

      I have been wanted to see what inside the basket. The basket itself is low tech but I believe it is functional and does the job well (I am sure it is strong, light and durable too). Thank you.

      Liked by 2 people

  17. Miss Gentileschi September 18, 2016 / 4:19 pm

    What a wonderful event! I’ve never seen hot air balloons but a couple of Zeppelins (an air ship? like the Hindenburg) which are also quite impressive 🙂 Totally love the pictures you’ve made!!! Have a very lovely week ahead! 🙂 xxx

    Liked by 4 people

    • YellowCable September 18, 2016 / 4:43 pm

      Yes, those are air ship or blimp. They are awesome. I have not seen a real one. That is on my wish list too. Please have a great week ahead too. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Miss Gentileschi September 19, 2016 / 10:41 am

        Thank you! There are still so many words and expressions in English that I don’t know yet 😉 Hope you’ll see an airship soon – it’s an incredible sight! xxx

        Liked by 3 people

  18. ventisqueras September 20, 2016 / 10:43 am

    mongolfiere ed aquiloni! il sogno di tutti ibambini…ma infondo se si amano i colori ed i sogni si resta sempre un pochino bambini, non è vero? Grazie di queste immagini festose! festose e bellissime!
    un caloroso saluto

    Liked by 4 people

    • YellowCable September 20, 2016 / 7:55 pm

      I like your thinking about balloons and kites. I loved flying kites when I was a child. It was so much fun. The wind that cool you down in the summer afternoon and seeing your kite moving around in the sky. Thank you.

      Liked by 2 people

  19. voulaah September 26, 2016 / 4:49 am

    great event, thank you for sharing beautiful photos

    Liked by 3 people

  20. prior.. September 27, 2016 / 2:43 am

    ok YC – I had to come back and let you know my take on the photos. I think you showed your skill as a photographer with some of the cool choice of soft focus – like the fan image! such a classic fan to capture e- and the back blur adds so much.

    and the other thing is that my favorite image is the tenth one down. It is actually a top photo of the year so far and it reminds me of unity, strength – togetherness – and then the blue is smooth – and the hardness of the clasp – feels all tough. I really love that shot.

    ok – hope you have a great week – and thanks again for including me in your blog rounds, I truly love having your comments – it means a lot.
    peace out

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Suzy Hazelwood September 28, 2016 / 10:26 pm

    You got some really wonderful colour packed pictures here, what a great opportunity for photography!! 😀 Hot air balloons are fascinating to watch. I saw a whole string of them in the sky about a year ago – a long way in the distance though. But I hadn’t seen any for years. Don’t seem to get balloons very often where I live, maybe because it’s a city, in case they have to land on a busy road…mm, that would be interesting to see! 😉

    When I was a child, the village we lived in was on a hill, so we used often see hot air balloons fly over in the summer extremely low, and sometimes actually landing, which caused great excitement in the village (not much else going on!). I have seen one or two take off a couple of times at various events, but…so many years ago now. I remember it took quite a long time to get that balloon full with hot air.

    I don’t think I’d ever have the confidence to take a ride in one….I’d be terrified I’d want to get out before we got too high! I’d probably hide in the bottom of the basket until it was over…haha!! 😀 We humans do seem obsessed with flying.

    Thanks so much for taking us on your trip to the balloon festival!!

    Liked by 3 people

    • YellowCable September 29, 2016 / 6:41 pm

      Thank you, Suzy 🙂 Indeed, it was a great event for photography. I saw many people carrying cameras at the event and many were snapping pictures with their smart phones. That was so cool that you saw the whole string of them in the sky! I would love to see them like that too. I only see them from TV news. There were only two or tree of them floating low at the event. Perhaps, it was late afternoon.

      Haha, seeing them land on a busy load would be too interesting 😀 There were many incidents about small private planes did emergency landing on high way but I have not heard the a hot air balloon lands on a road yet.

      I would be terrified to be on one and it floats far above tree levels too. I do not like to get on a Ferris wheel, the one with open seats. I will be so nervous especially when it stops and you hang at the top 😦 I can try to get on London Eye though. That would be great opportunity for photography 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • Suzy Hazelwood October 1, 2016 / 3:54 pm

        Oh yes, I used to loooove going on the Ferris Wheel at the fair when I was little, couldn’t get enough of it. Quite often went with my dad, as he loved them too. I have wonderful memories of seeing from above the holiday resort we were staying at all twinkling in the dark, I was so excited by that view – it was like flying! But I’m terrified to go on one now. I photographed a Ferris Wheel a week or so back while at the seaside, it was so glowy white and sparkled in the sun. Really didn’t feel like it was in England, looks like a scene from the US. But neither my brother or I had the nerve to take a ride. Unless you keep those experiences up-to-date age makes you lose your confidence. I can’t decide if I’d like the London Eye or not. But yes, anything like would be amazing for photography!! 😀

        Liked by 2 people

  22. Bun Karyudo September 29, 2016 / 10:53 am

    It looks like a lot of fun. I’d like to try flying in one too. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  23. nutsfortreasure October 13, 2016 / 9:59 pm

    What a story your photos have told! Great shots!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Inger October 16, 2016 / 10:34 am

    I definitely enjoyed the ballon festival! I have always loved seeing colourful balloons flying in the air. At the same time I wonder how they are able to navigate in what seems pretty a fragile mean of transportation – only thing keeping them up being thin fabric and hot air:)

    Liked by 2 people

    • YellowCable October 16, 2016 / 3:22 pm

      Thank you. That is a good thought. It is not comforting if you can’t control where you want to go.

      Liked by 2 people

  25. Denzil January 6, 2017 / 3:32 am

    Great photos. I felt as if I were right there with you. Very atmospheric. Love the close ups of the equipment

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Miss Lou January 28, 2017 / 11:09 pm

    Gorgeous collection of photography – beautifully taken. It was also interesting to read about the process of how the Hot Air Balloon works. I’ve never been in one myself, and I can’t recall ever seeing one close up. I’m sure it is not an issue, but I have the irrational fear that the flame that creates the ‘hot air/hotness’ will some how set the balloon material on fire.

    I think it would prevent me from ever going in one.

    Lovely post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • YellowCable January 29, 2017 / 6:59 am

      I understand the fear of the flame that creates the hot air on the hit air balloon too. I see they shot the flame up so high. I could almost certain the flame touch some parts of the strings or the material of the balloon too. That is scary.

      Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

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