We were up at 0 dark thirty to see the commotion on the field…

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There are about a dozen or so balloons outfitted to fly at night; these are the “Dawn Patrol”.  They go up and report back on wind currents and other issues the balloonists might encounter…

At about 6:00 am they fired their burners and lifted off:

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At 7:00 am the “Mass Ascension” begins… But first we have a flyover of some vintage airplanes…

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One by one the balloons ascend until the sky is filled…

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You can even walk on the field and get up close and personal with the balloons as they are about to launch…

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Some balloons don’t make it very far…

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And then, just like that, they are gone… By 9:00 or so the ballooning for the day is over…

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We walked amongst the hundreds of vendors selling atrocious looking foods (Pork Chop on-a-Stick?) and cheap but expensive “souvenirs”…

This evening we had another gathering right in front of The Villa, but this time there were only about 100 people and it was just “Happy Hours”

And an enjoyable time was had by all…