Whether grounded or airborne, balloons dominate the festivities at Old Celina Park. On the ground, the vibrantly patterned balloons glow and undulate as propane burners pump them with hot air. These bright shapes slowly diminish to colorful specks in the sky as the balloons ascend, leaving the fairgrounds far behind.
With this canopy of colored dots overhead, the festival’s entertainment comes alive as musical acts such as the Emerald City Band and Sonny Burgess take the stage. Pristine cars and trucks made as early as the 1930s shine at the classic-car show, a four-story inflatable slide promotes adrenaline rushes, and a beer garden fuels festival-goers with heady pours and margaritas. In the evening, when the balloons that have served as a backdrop all day finally land, each pilot contributes to the balloon glow, punctuating the dusk with jets of flame from their burners to illuminate their vessels in time to music.