What a fun and wonderful weekend at Midway Regional Airport. I am talking about the aviation extravaganza that took place June 19th through June 21st. It was three days of hot air balloons, skydivers, helicopters, gliders and airplanes.
There were also many booths selling food items such as funnel cakes, pretzels, kettle corn, Italian ice, barbeque, fried pies, ice cream, fresh lemonade and sweet tea.
The children were definitely not forgotten. There were train rides, pony rides, a big slide and helicopter rides which explained all of the happy faces. Chantilly Berryman and her son Chance were there and Chance said, “This is really cool. I am waiting for the balloons to take off. I think those are going to be cool. The old fashioned air planes are really cool too.” His mother Chantilly said, “I came this morning with my husband at 6:00 AM and the balloons were not able to take off because of the wind. We came, we saw, we bought the T Shirts. I brought Chance and we are going to ride the helicopters. We have had a great time.”
In the evening the long awaited for hot air balloons were being inflated and lit up. After the balloons were inflated they had an ‘All Burn’ and a ‘Twinkle Burn’. An ‘All Burn’ is when the pilot of the hot air balloon sends up long flames of fire. A ‘Twinkle Burn’ is when the pilot sends up short flames of fire. Then the announcer had the audience count down from ten and yell ‘All Burn’ and long flames went up. He then had everyone count down from ten and yell ‘Twinkle Burn’ and the short flames appeared lighting up the dark sky.
I had the chance to speak with Debbie Peterson who is the pilot for the Rise and Shine hot air ballon. I asked her what made her decide to fly and she replied, “I have been flying since 1996. My husband started flying and I just decided to join in the fun. I really enjoy it and I am here every year.” I asked her high you can go up in the air and she said, " When calm winds are on the ground you can go up a couple thousand feet and you might be going twenty miles an hour. But if the wind is more than 8 miles an hour on the ground I don’t go. Some of these pilots do but not me." Peterson explained that Propane gas is used to fuel the balloons and on a typical flight she usually uses a little less than twenty gallons but she always has forty gallons with her.
That evening the air was filled with beautiful hot air balloons, kids riding trains and ponies. A fun time was had by all. See you there next year.