2001. This city, located about 100 km (62
miles) north ofToronto, once again hosted
this family oriented event during some of
races(sn owmob ileracesheldo na
motorcross-typetrack) andofcourse, a
hot air balloonfestival!
Although balloon flights weresched-
uled only for Saturday and Sunday, many
evening as a severe winter storm covered
the area leaving about 15 cm (6 inches) of
fresh snow behind.
daymorning beganwithclear blue skies
The overnight temperatures had dropped
tobelow -20 C(-5F) andat7:30 a.m. it
going to take more than cold temperatures
for the hardy Canadian pilots to miss this
great opportunityfor some winter flying.
by Sundance Balloons, a balloon ride and
corporate program company, on behalf of
ter.” His knowledge of the area and expe-
choice tofulfill thisrole.
pilots andtheir crews drove tothe shores
of nearby Kempenfelt Bay. As the crews
wound their way around the parking lot to
topped upwith adequate nitrogen neces-
sarydue to the temperature. Before long
inflating as the crews scrambled to make
sure they had adequate clothing to protect
minded by the pilotstobring alongsleds
and toboggans as they become very useful
tools when retrieving balloons from snow
All of the pilots enjoyed a great win-
hoteltoget warmedup before the after-
noon flight. At the 1:30 p.m. briefing, Mr.
George indicated that the winds were go-
ing to pick up and that the afternoon flight
would probably be the last for the week-
end as more severe winter was headedto
for the scheduledballoonglow Saturday
As thepilots and crews prepared their
envelopes on the snowy parking lot, some
pilotswere takingtheir time tosee what
the conditions were actually like. The first
envelope stabilized and the pilot was able
tolaunch. Shortlyafter some of the other
numerous people ice fishingand then the
downtown core of Barrie.
While mostof the balloonsdidtake
packthe balloons andbaskets away. One
pilot landed his balloon on the far edge of
some treesthat surroundeda park.
The turnoutfor the eveningballoon
Yellow Pages balloon as the forecast was
not favorable. It is also difficult to ask you
conditions as temperatures dropped again.
were offered rides in the tethered balloon.
One more balloon showed up to join in the
evening’s festivities and the crews did not
packthe equipmentaway until everyone
that wanted a ride had the opportunityto
do so. It is the dedication andenthusiasm
of these balloonists that make ballooning
sucha success, particularly inthe frosty
Great White North!