Saturday, June 19, 2010

6th Annual Balloon Festival

WHERE? Foley, Alabama · find us on the map

We thought we'd get a brochure about this festival on Friday afternoon when we pulled into the festival grounds, but we found out the only way to even get into the festival was by shuttle. By that, I mean there was at least one location in Foley where people could park and the shuttle pick them up and take them to the festival and later pick them up at the festival and return them to their vehicles. We could have parked in an area that was quite far from the festival itself and wait possibly ten minutes for the shuttle to take us on into the festival. Since all we wanted was a brochure, we chose not to do that and just left. It was irritating to us to be met with the situation as it was.

No one but VIP's were allowed to park near the festival, park briefly, get a brochure and then go on with plans for coming back early the next day to attend the festival. We've experienced the VIP situation recently while touring Graceland in Memphis, but we pretty much knew the VIP's had purchased a higher priced ticket. We are assuming the VIP's in this situation were the volunteers, live entertainment, food booth caterers, arts and crafts, and children's village. We also got the idea they were planning on charging us to park, but we now believe admission and parking were both free of charge. We never did get the brochure we wanted, which would have helped us know where the hot air balloons were from, but we did get to see the balloons today. The festival attracted about 45 hot air balloons from across the country.

Today the conditions were perfect for a hot air balloon festival. As our photos show, there was no wind at the ground level. We got photos of just about all the balloons and talked to a few people. One balloon was from Foley, and the group with it did not know what their balloon was being called this year. Sometimes it was called the Blue Angel and other times it was called something else. It was the balloon that was all blue, and I don't think I got a photo of it. In the process of taking photos, I realized some things that I did not last year, I needed to be on the east side of the balloons to take good photos just as the sun was rising. Duh!

See our photos on flickr:

Balloon Festival 2010

To see some really professional photos taken on the same morning, see Brody J's photos on flickr:

Foley Balloon Fest 2010

You'll probably want to look at some more of his excellent photography while you are there.

The website for the festival is very informative, and we encourage you to visit it not only for information about this year's festival but also some facts about upcoming balloon festivals.

Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival


  1. You're right, the last link provides anything one would want to know about this event, including the festival's brochure (disguised behind Media Kit), parking information, and an illustrated list of participants. Come to think of it, perhaps you could have avoided some wasted time and effort by visiting :-)

  2. To CarlaCarlaCarlaCarla -- you are so right. Several times I meant to go to the balloon festival site and never thought of it long enough to do it. A lesson learned -- I hope. I'll have to look at that media kit part.