September 25-27, 2015
Windsor, CO USA
Home / FAQ's
Below are answers to many of the Frequently Asked Questions that Pilots and Visitors to Picture the Sky have asked. If you have a specific question that is not answered here, click here to contact us, and we'll be more than happy to answer your questions!
Q. What is a Balloon Festival like?
A. You have probably seen one or two balloons floating in the sky in the early mornings all over northern Colorado. With the festival, you will have the opportunity to see up to 20 balloons all launching from the same field on the same morning (weather permitting), as well as a chance to visit with the pilots and crews, and get 'up close and personal' with these graceful giants of the air.
Q. Who can come to the Festival?
A. The Festival is a family affair – with something for everyone to enjoy. We will have parking space available, as well as free secure bicycle parking on site, sponsored by Spokes. Bring the family – but please leave the dog at home. Dogs and balloons are not a good match, and there is also no smoking on the balloon festival grounds.
Q. When is it?
A. Pending dates and times
Q. How many balloons will there be?
A. Pending pilot counts
Q. Will there be other things to do?
A. Absolutely! We have a number of Windsor eateries providing breakfast items, snacks and beverages, as well as souvenirs, a photo contest, and other activities
Q. Can I ride in one of the balloons?
A. We have a limited number of openings for paid riders on Saturday and Sunday morning (weather permitting). These flights will be conducted by licensed and insured commercial pilots, and launching right along with all the other balloons from our event field in Water Valley. Cost is $200 per person. Please, no children under 12 years old. Please call C Debbi Waltman, Balloonmeister (303-880-2669), for details and to reserve your spot aboard one of these graceful beauties.
Q. Where do the balloons go when they fly?
A. The simple answer to that is "Wherever the wind takes them!!!". Balloons do not have steering in the traditional sense, but use the varying levels of wind to work their way to a safe and accessible landing site. The balloon crew typically follows on the ground, and then helps to pack up the balloon and return everyone to the launch field for a post flight celebration.
Q. Can I follow the balloons?
A. Following a balloon can be lots of fun – but safety is always our top priority. If you choose to follow in your car or on your bicycle, keep in mind the balloon may travel many miles, or might land somewhere nearby. We ask that everyone please respect private property by staying on the public roads, and please be very careful to watch traffic. We don't want anyone hurt because a driver was looking up when they should have been watching other vehicles! If you follow a balloon to its' landing site, please wait until the crew invites you to approach. Our crews are trained in safe procedures, and usually welcome closeup looks, but we do need to be courteous and respectful of landowners as well.
Q. Where can I learn more about hot air balloons and ballooning??
Q. Why do you keep putting (weather permitting) on everything??
A. More than anything, weather is the final determining factor in all of our flights. Pilots prefer winds of less than 6-8 mph to launch a balloon, and winds of less than 10-15 mph for safe landings. Though we do careful studies of the current conditions, we all know Colorado weather can be very unpredictable at times. If a flight is cancelled, it most commonly is due to expected winds higher than our tolerances, or perhaps thunderstorms and/or rain in the area. A popular saying amongst most aviators is "I'd rather be down here wishing I was up there – than up there wishing I could get back down here!" As with any sport, there are always some risks, but good weather information and training prolongs the lifespan of balloons, pilots and passengers!
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