Hot Air Balloon Classic

In 1989 the founders of what would become one of Sonoma County’s time honored traditions launched the first Hot Air Balloon Classic by sending dozens of multi- colored, lighter than air spheres into the cool dawn sky.
Twenty-two years later, balloons of all shapes and sizes are preparing to rise again as this popular attraction returns to Windsor in the Summer of 2011 -- after a one- year absence -- for two days of ballooning, food, crafts and tethered balloon rides offering spectacular vistas of the wine country from 50 feet overhead.
There will be jumpies for the kids, mini-carnival rides and a climbing wall for the more adventurous. A special balloon, anchored to the ground and kept inflated with fanned in air, allows spectators to explore the interior. Breakfast items and hot beverages are available.
The Balloon Classic appeals to early risers who come at 5:00 a.m. to witness crews filling their craft with blasts of hot air from flaming propane tanks.
Three balloons comprising what is known as the Dawn Patrol are first to sever their ties to earth. When all remaining balloons are filled and crews are loaded, the balloon master gives a signal and the liftoff begins.
Festivities continue at the primary launch site until 11:00 a.m. on both days so viewers have two chances to experience this gala spectacle of flight.

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