Hot air balloons launch the Indiana State Fair

Hot air balloons launch the Indiana State Fair
Hot air balloon launch at the 2014 Indiana State Fair (WTHR photo)
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At 6:55 Friday morning, the governor got on the microphone to announce it was time for launch.

The hot air balloons ascended sporadically into the crisp morning air. One by one the balloons filled the sky with an array of rainbow colors and patterns. Breaks in between each lift off created an image of ornaments hanging on a Christmas tree. Spectators cheered and applauded as each balloon took off the ground. Families looked up in awe as the balloons slowly rose up. It was a magical moment gazing upon the east as the balloons kissed the hombre sky of pink, orange and blue, and the sun a glaring pink.

“It’s the closest way to get to heaven on earth,” says Ann Vencel, Jasper Engines and Transmissions balloon team.

A breathtaking moment remembered for countless years brings the Bose family back to rekindle their previous tradition of attending the balloon launch. Not attending the launch for almost 20 years, the Bose family decided to come back for opening day.

“I remember walking around among the balloons and there were a lot of balloons, like maybe 20 or more. And then they just all go up in the air, it was so neat,” Bose said.

Brining the next generation of the family to the balloon launch, Deborah’s daughter hopes to see that same excitement in her two-and-a-half-year-old as he attends the event for the first time.

“[We’re] just hoping he can pay attention and really understands and sees it, ‘cause he’s two-and-a-half, but I think he’ll enjoy it,” Deborah’s daughter Ann said.

As the sun continued to rise above the trees and barns in the east, the balloons disappeared into the north. The announcer thanked everyone for coming out and to enjoy the fair as it had officially begun.

Lauren Hughes is a writer for BSU Journalism at the Fair, a Ball State University immersive-learning project placing 25 student journalists at the heart of the Midway to tell the weird and wonderful stories of the 2014 Indiana State Fair.