This past weekend, Binghamton, New York enjoyed its annual Spiedie Fest and Balloon Rally. I was fortunate enough to attend this year - many years I don't, and last year I had a family reunion.
This year, I had a weekend full of concerts, a balloon launch, a chance somewhat close encounter with a Disney star, and a lot of crowds. (Saturday the attendance was about 62,000. Not bad, as Binghamton's population is about 47,000.) And, oh yes - there are spiedies.
I'll blog about spiedies (our regional food) in future post. But for now, a little taste of the hot air balloon part of the festival.
The lovely part is how close you can get to the balloons and see all the steps from inflation to launch. I will blog more about that later this month. For now -
A lovely overview.
This year, I've spoken to several people who have ridden in those hot air balloons and a couple of people have asked if I've ever gone up in one. The answer is no, and the reason is that, many years ago, there was a balloon accident in this area on landing, and people were thrown out of the basket and seriously injured.
It also seems to be this is an expensive ride - over $100, with no guarantee you will be up more than a few minutes. Am I afraid of heights? Not that much, although I did chicken out of Chattanooga, Tennessee's Incline Railway at the last minute when I saw how steep the first few feet were. (Gulp).
But I can also tell you how it feels when you are around these launches. The feeling is incredible, almost indescribeable. You feel like a little kid, almost wanting to stomp your feet in glee.
Have you ever been up in a hot air balloon? Would you recommend it to others?