On Friday night, hundreds of people flocked Queensbury for the much anticipated annual Adirondack Balloon Festival.
In fact, so many cars piled into the area, that it took some visitors more than two hours just to get into the Floyd Bennett Memorial Airport!
This is the 40th year in a row for the event, and spectators and balloonists alike, are just hoping the weather cooperates a bit better this weekend.
On Friday evening it was the wind that kept the hot air balloons on the ground.
As you can imagine, hot air balloons can't fly in 15 to 20 mile an hour gusts, and that's what was blowing around out there Friday night.
But despite the windy weather, the professional hot air balloon pilots still put on a great show.
While wrangling and wrestling with a red, white and blue balloon that seemed to be trying to fly away, Skyhigh Aerial Promotions Pilot said, "As it stands, it's a little too breezy for us to go up, so we try to give 'em as best of a show as we can anyhow."
You could tell just by watching that a lot of work, and weight, and sweat went into getting the massive balloon from Indianapolis, Indiana inflated, but Sullivan never any intention of lifting it off the ground on Friday night.
Sullivan said, "Well, what we did was we just did a static display. It's too windy to go flying tonight. So, rather than not put on any show at all, we decided to stand the balloon up to give the people something to look at, because they all came out, and that's what they all wanted to see!"
As far as the eye could see colorful balloons dotted the grass field at the airport in Queensbury.
But none of the balloons were 'going anywhere' yet at the 40th Annual Adirondack Balloon Festival on Friday.
Sullivan said, "In the next couple days, it looks like there might be a chance to fly."
"It's very important to have very nice weather for a balloon festival, and fortunately the Valley Region here in upstate New York does give us some very nice weather, especially this time of year," Sullivan said.
But most visitors we spoke with didn't seem to mind that the balloons never 'took off' on Friday night.
Fourth Grader Hailey Downs said she enjoyed the show anyhow.
"It didn't go up, because the wind was too strong," she said.
"But it was pretty cool anyway," Downs said.
And some spectators even found ways to harness the very wind that cancelled Friday's hot air balloon flights
With a big, toothy grin young Sara Kassal of Queensbury said, "I'm Flying a kite. My kite is rainbow colored."
When asked if it was difficult to get up into the air she said, "Yeah, I had to run with it."
And as for how to keep it up in the air Kassel said, "Well you kind of have to pull the string a little bit."
And shutter bugs with nice cameras captured the picturesque scenes in pretty photos.
Keith Conrad of Keith Conrad Photography said, "It's colorful. It looks good on film, so just trying to capture the moment."
Meanwhile, dozens of anxious balloon pilots were thinking about the weather for the rest of the weekend.
Todd Monahan said, "Tomorrow morning looks really good, probably one of the better times throughout the weekend. So we hope that the sun comes up, and we have a nice warm morning, that the fog stays away, the wind stays low and we're able to give people some unique rides, and to give spectators a great experience."
Monahan of Sunkiss Ballooning says the Adirondack Balloon Festival is a great way to learn more about the sport of hot air ballooning.
"If you haven't been able to get down here, you should really come down and check some of the balloons out," the passionate balloon enthusiast said.
And Monahan said, if you would like to take a flight for yourself, there's no better time.
"You can get rides right at the festival! And you want to get rides, that's the best part! All you have to do is come down to the airport, and look around for signs that say 'balloon rides.' And you want to bring your camera and take lots of pictures while you're in the air. Usually 200 dollars for 40 to 60 minute ride, a champagne toast, and a post flight picnic after," Monahan said.
Monahan says riding in a hot air balloon is a once in a lifetime experience that will stay with you forever.
"I say this, and I keep saying it: If you've never done it, it's one of the best experiences you'll ever get. A lot of people think it's like a ride at the carnival. It's not. It's one of the most amazing experiences. It's like you're actually just standing there floating, and the world is just moving beneath you."
You can call Todd Monahan of Sunkiss Ballooning at 518-796-0373 throughout the weekend, or anytime to book a ride.
But, if you are heading out to the Adirondack Balloon Festival this weekend, be sure to leave early.
The traffic backs up for hours once the event is underway.
For directions, and a complete listing of events or cancellations, click here.