I finally made it back to the Great Balloon Race in Forest Park this year. It had been a few years since I last went, I think I was in grade school the last time I went with my parents. We first decided that we needed a hearty breakfast at Chris’s Pancake House, which is always a good meal and a wait anytime after 10. We decided against our original plan of parking at the Highlander and walking to the Central field since my friend Brooke was already there and got great parking in the MUNY parking lot. So we parked in the MUNY parking lot and had an easy walk over to the field where all the balloons were going to be set up. It was great for the beginning of the day, not so great for leaving.
We got to the park around 11:30 and walked around for a while, checking out the booths and met up with Brooke and Chris. We then walked around some more and found a nice place in the shade to hang out for a while. While waiting for the balloons to get ready we walked around and Austin was able to get a tour of a fire engine and on our way back to the blanket and shade area.
Then around 2 the balloons started to blow up for the picture contest. We were able to get a front row seat to watch a balloon get ready.
Finally we were able to walk around and get up close with the balloons, by far the coolest part.
The there was more waiting around until race time. Of course that was ok, we had to find more shade. It was in the 90s for mid-September and they were running out of water. We ended up moving our blanket 3 times as the sun kept moving. It didn’t seem to phase Austin or Cooper but I was dying of the heat. Finally, close to 5 we finally saw the pink Energizer Bunny balloon and that would be the lead balloon.
The race was second away from starting we headed closer to the start of the race. Once we got there it seemed like there were balloons taking off every few seconds. There were almost 70 balloons that raced and I’m still not sure where they landed but it was a fun day. Next year we are not parking at the MUNY, we will walk to avoid the 30 minute wait to get out of the parking lot.
Here are the pictures of the balloons taking off: