Pat's 14th, Saturday night challenge was all about RED. We could use it in any way we wanted, or at least I think that is what she said. I have been busy this week so I just barely got this one completed and entered before the deadline. Mine is about the National Balloon Rally that we try to go to every year. We really enjoy it. One of these days I will go up in one!! I think that would be such fun. Underneath the picture is a little history of the rally, if you would like to read about it. We have oodles of pictures from different years, but Allan wanted me to use these, because it showed Tony The Tiger peeping up out from behind other ones. After I completed it , he told me it looked better plain without any embellishments but it was too late. They were stuck on for good. I took the original flyer about that year's event and reduced it down to where it would fit on the page. Sorry about the photo, it was taken late and the lighting was really bad.
The Montgolfier brothers from Annonay, France conducted the first hot air balloon flight on June 5th 1783. The balloon’s envelope was made of linen and paper. The unmanned balloon had a volume of 23,308 cubic feet and the air within was heated from a fire on the ground. The first passengers were actually a pig, duck and rooster. The Montgolfier balloon flew one mile from its launch site, where a large crowd had gathered to witness this remarkable new, high-tech event—flight!
On November 21, 1783, Pilatre de Rozier and Marquis d’Arlandes made the first manned flight in a Montgolfier balloon from central Paris to the city’s outskirts. There were few advances to hot air ballooning for the next 170 years when the rebirth of ballooning took place in the 1960s and advances in technology made it possible to build safe, relatively affordable balloons.
In 1965, Ed Yost with Raven Industries in partnership with the US Air Force, began the development of modern hot air ballooning. With the assistance of Don Piccard and TracyBarnes, hot air balloon designs were standardized for Federal Aviation Administration certification. This marked the beginning of the hot air balloon industry in the United States.
In 1973, Tracy Barnes formed The Balloon Works right here in Statesville, North Carolina to manufacture and sell hot air balloons. The Balloon Works entry into ballooning with safe and affordable sport balloons helped to ignite the market for hot air ballooning in the United States.
The National Balloon Rally got its start in 1974 at Aerial Ascensions, a flight instruction and corporate balloon company in north Statesville owned by Bill Meadows. As one of the Balloon Works’ first dealers, Meadows invited Balloon Works’ customers from across the US to come to Statesville for a week of camping, flying and telling ballooning tales.
The Rally moved to The Balloon Works facility near Love Valley, NC in 1978, where it was an informal, week-long gathering of hot air balloon enthusiasts and local spectators. The Rally quickly outgrew that location.
In 1982, Statesville Flying Service, The Balloon Works and the Greater Statesville Chamber of Commerce combined forces to bring the Rally to the Statesville Airport. The National Balloon Rally—the second oldest balloon rally in the nation— became one of the largest, most successful hot air balloon events in United States hosting 160 hot air balloons and up to 80,000 spectators.
In 1996, the Rally relocated to the Iredell County Fairgrounds in Troutman, NC where it continued until 2006 when it was moved back to the newly-expanded Statesville Regional Airport.
Today, the spectacular event continues to amaze and delight tens of thousands of spectators annually with a full weekend of mass ascensions, sanctioned contest, balloon glow, live entertainment, arts & crafts, exhibits and great food!