The annual Big Country Balloon Fest, hosted by the Optimist Club along side a whole host of sponsors and army of volunteers, has everything from pony rides to a petting zoo to the ever impressive hot air balloon display.
"It's just an awesome family friendly event, and the best part is it's free to the public," commented Robin Hicks, the Optimist Club's Balloon Fest coordinator.
Now the timing of the event isn't random. According to the festival's original balloon meister, Johnny Lewis,
All those years ago the event was placed at the end of September because of good weather and time proximity to the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta.
Now West Texas weather being what it is, sometimes, can stop the balloons from going up.
In fact, if there's wind gusting stronger than 7 to 8 miles per hour, it's often a no-go.
That being said, in the 22 years the event has been held, almost every single year has seen balloons up in the air to some extent.
"We've only had 2 years where we've had no flights at all," Hicks continued.
Now, of course, all proceeds from the event are directed towards the club's goal, "We do funnel any and all profits to kids in some shape, form, or fashion," stated Hicks.
But the event is not just about setting up scholarships, that's crucially important as well, but the event is also about fun.
"The event itself, the family fun it brings to Abilene and watching those smiles is just priceless," finished Hicks.
A chance for a passing shower this morning, otherwise mild and muggy.
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