Various colors and patterns flying anywhere from tree height up to 3,000 feet, guided by the wind. I’m talking about hot air balloons. They’ll be taking over the skies for the 11th Annual Crown of Maine Balloon Fest.
“We have 12 balloons involved in the festival, plus we’ve got a couple other pilots that fly outside the festival. So we’ll probably have about 15 balloons in the air this year,” says Floyd Rockholt, the Chair of the Balloon Fest Committee.
“This event is put on for the people and families and children of this area,” says Terry Sanduski, member of the Mapleton Lions, the host Sponsor for the festival.
Balloon pilots are already arriving in Presque Isle. Joel Jones has been flying in the Balloon Fest since 2006.
“It truly is the only festival that I go to that I really do feel like part of the community, and that to me is a super feeling,” says Balloon Pilot Joel Jones.
Another pilot Randy Lee, is experiencing Maine for the first time. He has already taken to the skies to experience the beauty of Aroostook County from above.
“Flying a hot air balloon, the pilot takes care of the up and down, and the good Lord takes care of the left and right, and you never know whose path you’re going to cross when you land the balloon, says Balloon Pilot, Randy Lee.
Jones says his favorite part about flying, is the people.
“For people to fly and then get out of the basket, and say, you just made my lifetime dream come true, just fills you with joy,” says Jones.
“There’s nothing like waking up on a very still morning, and all of a sudden you hear, woosh woosh and you jump out and grab your phone or your camera, and you get a terrific shot almost every time,” says Sanduski.
“I hope everybody comes out to the fairgrounds, and enjoy it. It’s free of charge for everybody who just wants to watch the balloons go up in the air. It’s a great site,” says Rockholt.
So over the next few days, be sure to keep an eye on the sky for these colorful balloons. The festival runs from August 21st through the 24th.
For more information of the Balloon Fest visit: http://www.crownofmaineballoonfest.org/