ANNA, TX -- There will be some larger than life aircraft in the skies over Anna this weekend. Josh Stevenson files this report on the goings on at the Anna Glow Fest Friday morning.
For those in the know, a ride in a hot air balloon isn't just about the flying. It's also about the fire.
Lance Terry, “the balloonmeister” at this weekend’s Glow fest in Anna, spends a lot of time in the air. When he isn’t up in his balloon, he is flying people across the country as a pilot for Southwest Airlines.
"At work we are flying at about 550 miles an hour. In a balloon, we are doing maybe ten," Terry says.
This is almost the second annual Glow Fest. The event was held in May, but bad weather grounded the lighter than aircraft, so the event was moved to this weekend. While the event is still young, organizers say it is already growing.
"We would like to get up to about 50 balloons but for the growth phase. We are going to have about 17 out here for the weekend," Terry says.
While a difference in air temperature in the form of hot air makes these balloons fly, a difference in air pressure in the form of wind can quickly take the air out of a balloon ride.
"Wind is a real big factor for us. It can be a beautiful day, but if the wind is over ten miles an hour for us, it is just a no-go for ballooning," pilot Keith Berry says.
Despite the weather there is still a bunch to do and see at the Anna Glow Fest, like for instance, the reason it’s called the Glow Fest.
"The glow is when we use the burners to light them up. That’s going to happen tonight. You want to be out here about 6:30," Terry says.
The gates opened up at the Glow Fest Friday afternoon, and admission is just $3 per person. There will be plenty of things to do and see, and balloon pilots say, if you have never been up close to one of these floating behemoths, it is definitely an experience not to be missed.
"Oh hey, don't miss it. If you ever have the opportunity to be around one of these balloons, it is one of the most awesome things you can see."