Jim Sánchez/ Conexión San Ángelo

SAN ANGELO – For the second consecutive year, and on opening night again, the San Angelo Lions’ Balloonfest was grounded by weather conditions since balloonists cannot set sail if the winds are above 10 miles per hour!

At Friday’s 2018 Balloonfest, 13 of 17 pilots: Billy Broker, Chris Cliver, Guy Gaugthier, Sandy Graf, Bob Gonzales, Anthony Hayes, Joe Heartsill, Lucas Heartsill, Rhett Heartsill, Richard James, Steve Lombardi, Joe H. Paddie, Jr., Richard Sabin, Wayne Standeford and Dusty Weston were on the grounds of John Glenn Middle School football field at Johnson Street and University Avenue with their envelopes as the community showed up 5,000 strong to support this already popular event, evidenced by the number of attendees. 

Kimberbly Floyd, one of the Co-Chairs for the Balloonfest, stated to Conexión that though the balloons wouldn’t get to go up, nor any teetered rides either. However all the pilots would perform for the crowd what is called an all burner glow.

The point-man to coordinate this huge balloon fest was Balloonmeiser, Pat Cannon, the guy in charge for deciding whether the conditions are favorable for allowing the balloonists to go up or not. Cannon essentially sets the tasks and program for when the envelopes were scheduled to go up. A hot air balloon is a lighter-than-air aircraft consisting of a bag, also called an envelope, which contains heated air. The heated air inside the envelope makes it buoyant since it has a lower density than the colder air outside the envelope.

Two new events this year added were the Texas Parks & Wildlife with plenty of fish that kids would get a chance to fish for free. Also, the Rock Wall was provided by Gravity Express.

While admission to the balloon fest grounds was free, there was costs involved for activities and food.

A few of the weekend activities on tap for Friday or Saturday:

4:00 pm – 10:00 pm Food Court, Vendors & Kids Zone

8:15 pm Opening Ceremony

8:30 pm Balloon Glow

Saturday 

• 7:30 am – 11:00 am Lions Pancake Breakfast ($6.00/children under 6 free)

• 7:30 am – 10:00 am 1k/5k Fun Walk/Run (starts at 9:00 am) at San Angelo Stadium

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