The last time I went to the Chester County Hot Air Balloon Festival was back in 2011, when it was held at the Embreeville Athletic Fields along Telegraph Road (Rt 162).
Back then, I remember that at the gates closest to the balloons, were packed with people and one could hardly move!
This year, the festival was held at Plantation Field Horse Trials just outside of Unionville, and the venue change alone was awesome! Chester County at it’s finest!
That being said, be prepared to walk, up and down the long public slope that features live music, arts & crafts and food booths.
In the small valley, the balloons were unfurled and prepared for flight.
The extremely long fence line offered great close-up views for hundreds at a time, which was a welcomed change!
Earlier in the year, I contacted the festival organizers about getting some Passes for the Chester County Photography Groups (Facebook, Flickr, Google+ and Twitter) and they provided me with 5 All Access Passes!
I posted that I had the Passes to the groups, and with an hour, they were spoken for.
After several round-robin emails and phone calls, I was able to give John Griggs and Michael Weinstein their tickets for the event.
To say that we were not excited would be a gross understatement.
With the passes, we were able to walk freely in the Launch area, as the hot air was being blown into the balloons as they slowly rose into the sky!
Just before sunset, after most of the balloons had launched, the Shaped balloons began their rise, and a featured balloon was the Patriot – The Space Shuttle.
It is HUGE!
It is 190 feet Tall, 115 feet Wide and weighs 992 pounds! [usflagballoon.com]
It is something that really needs to be seen live!
Some of the earlier launched balloons returned, and set up to do some night time glows for the large audience that was still there.
As 9:30 rolled around, there was a general slow exodus from the grounds.