Balloon Competitions and Festivals
It's always more fun to share your good times with others and Balloon Festivals provide a means for Balloonists to get together for friendly competition, story telling and post flight champagne drinking. The spectators attending these festivals are treated to an awesome sight as all the balloons inflate and fly off together. There are festivals going on almost every weekend somewhere in the country.
Many Festivals sell rides to the public and use the profits to benefit local charities. Some Balloon Festivals attract huge crowds and have many activities going on during the day when the balloons are not flying (Balloons can safely fly only when winds are light and predictable. Sunrise and two hours before sunset are ideal).
Other balloon meets are smaller and more competition oriented gatherings where pilots can sharpen their skills and train crew members.
There are many variations of the competition task but most center on the balloonist tossing a lightly weighted streamer at a predetermined target or "X". The drops are measured and scored by the volunteer "observers" on the ground.
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