I remember being high in the sky, not giving a damn that it was 114 degrees in the basket (and even hotter in the envelope above me) or that the sporadic flames were singeing my scalp. I leaned over the edge as my knees shook, and I tried not to drop my camera to its death in a Waxahachie field. It felt like floating...because it was--we were literally riding the wind, and it was exhilarating and scary and over too quickly (hours would've been too quickly). It was my first time in a hot air balloon at last year's Summer Balloon Classic. We flew with a slew of other balloons and a beautiful view of the skyline...and the Energizer Hot Hare Balloon, aka the tallest hot air balloon in the world, as it inflated below. But even just walking amongst the balloons as they were lit after dark (the "Lite the Nite" balloon glow) was an unexpected joy for someone who'd never even touched a hot air balloon or seen one that close. There's also the aviation extravaganza with gliders, airplanes, skydivers and an aerobatics air show. Basically, if you take your fun seriously and have any interest whatsoever in flight, you'll head down to the Summer Balloon Classic Friday through Sunday at MidWay Regional Airport in Waxahachie 4 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free, parking is $10. Visit summerballoonclassic.com for more info.
Fri., June 19, 4-8:30 p.m.; Sat., June 20, 6 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun., June 21, 6 a.m.-8 p.m., 2009