Ford Polo & Balloon Festival

682 1024 Tim Breaseale


I just got back from Gulfstream Polo Club’s annual Ford Polo & Balloon Festival.  This event held in Lake Worth, Florida was just a hop, skip and a jump from the house.  I had never been to a balloon festival before, so I really didn’t know what to expect.  I did know that I wanted to walk away with one of those iconic photos of the inside of the balloon as it’s being inflated.

To get the balloon ready for flight, the wicker basket must be assembled.  The photo below is of the burners being assembled on top of the basket.  Inside the basket you will find typical gauges like the altemeter and wind speed, but also the propane tanks.  Click any image to enlarge, use the arrows to flip through the photos.

Early morning set up.Next, the balloon is unrolled, laid out flat and connected to the basket.  There needs to be a couple of people to hold the skirt open (the bottom of the balloon) while a power fan fills up the majority of the balloon.  The main section of the balloon is called the envelope, which is made up of panels and gores.  Since this was my first time, I did not know the terminology of the hot air ballon.  Thank you Google.

Fill with air.Once the envelope peaks in size, the burners are blasted.  The hot air from the propane burning sends the balloon into the upright position.  Photo above shows the skirt being held open so that the fan can fill the envelope.  Photo below shows the burners being blasted.

Ford & Polo Balloon

Ford & Polo Balloon

Yes, I did get one of those iconic photos, several actually.  Since I am a history buff, this balloon was one of my favorites: We the People.  Below is a gallery of my favorite images that I took during the event.  I loved the vibrant colors combined with the sunrise.  I hope you enjoy the photos, and if you have any comments or questions, please reply.  Click any image to enlarge, use the arrows to flip through the photos.