Monday, August 8, 2016

Music Monday - Up Up and Away

This past weekend, Binghamton held its annual Spiedie Fest and Balloon Rally

This festival started out as a celebration of a local food specialty, the spiedie, and has evolved into something much bigger.  So my question for today is:

Would you want to ride in a beautiful balloon?  

First, a couple of songs about balloons.

Up, Up and Away by the Fifth Dimension.

99 Luftballoons by Nena - not about hot air ballooning, but a song well worth listening to (the original, which I like better than the English version, is in German).  Note, this is far from a happy song about 99 red balloons.

For those who do enjoy hot air ballooning, I also found a list of songs about hot air balloons on another blog.

Here's a post from a 2013 visit to the Spiedie Fest about watching a balloon launch.

Would You Want to Ride In a Beautiful Balloon?

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.
A closeup of a gondala as a balloon launches.
And another one launches.

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 indescribable. 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?


  1. Would love to try a hot air balloon ride. One of my fondest memories is seeing the 5th Dimension up close and personal at a very posh private party I attended. Those were the days.

  2. The closest I would come to a hot air balloon experience is a trip in a helicopter. Also a bit untethered, but clearly an experience that has more safety regulations. (Have you seen how many drunk balloon operator experiences there have been lately?)

  3. I have, in Turkey last year, and I loved it! I would love to go hot air balooning again!!

  4. Well I guess that answers my question from yesterday about whether you actually got to go see the balloons after the weirdness at the entrance! :D

  5. oops, or maybe not.

    Looking forward to the spiedie post. Somebody I know was raving about those a long time ago (possibly my sister) but I don't remember what exactly they are!

  6. OMG I want to go up sailing in a hot air balloon. I don't know what I'll do looking down from it, once up there!

  7. (Oh no, not 99 Luftballons! It's on the list of my much hated songs...)

    No, I'd never go up in a hot air balloon. I have a mild acrophobia. I can do enclosed spaces up high (airplanes are fine as are high rise buildings), but things like roller coasters, Ferris wheels, and ski lifts are no goes. A hot air balloon fits into that category.

  8. I feel a little apprehensive thinking about it but it would be a wonderful experience!

  9. Hot Air Balloon ride!Looks exciting!

  10. No, haven't been in a hot air balloon. BUT our local balloon festival is coming up this next weekend, and we plan to go watch the balloons launch. We actually had one do an emergency landing in our yard a few years back!


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