Special Thanks to our Major Sponsor: The Bob Lucido Team
The Bob Lucido balloon flying over West Friendship on Friday Morning
The Long Running Preakness Celebration Balloon Festival is one of many events planned during the week-long series of special events celebrating the annual running of the Preakness Stakes, Baltimore's "Super Bowl" and the 2nd jewel in thoroughbred racing's prestigious Triple Crown. The Hot Air Balloon Festival has a long and colorful tradition going back 40 years.
The Howard County Fairgrounds in Howard County, Maryland brightened the skies this year as the Centerpiece Venue for the long running balloon festival.
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A few words on weather and flying in a hot air balloon.
Hot air ballooning is a wonderful sport but weather plays a key factor if standup or flight can take place for safety sake of everybody involved. Balloons simply do not stand up or fly in unsafe conditions.
On Friday afternoon, Mother Nature treated us to a rare cloud formation and an impressive display of lightning. After a couple hours of breezy conditions and scattered clouds, around 5PM weather conditions began to deteriorate. Darker clouds rolled in and hail was reported in New Market. Then the sun popped out for about ten minutes. Some would think that the worst is over and "why are the balloons not standing up"
Then forming over us came the Mammatus clouds which are rare around here and are most often associated with the anvil cloud and also severe thunderstorms. They often extend from the base of a cumulonimbus, but may also be found under altocumulus, altostratus, stratocumulus, and cirrus clouds. To the average person these were beautiful clouds. To the weather knowledgeable balloon pilots, these clouds were a prelude to more dangerous weather ahead.
And still some were asking why are the balloons not flying
And then came the dark clouds moving to the south of us. We had reports of very heavy rain at the Bay Bridge. Then the impressive lightning show began. If anyone has pictures, please email to us at flights@Ballooningusa.com.
A decision was made to not only cancel the balloon activities but also for everyone's safety to close down the festival for the evening. When balloons do fly as witnessed by our Friday morning flight, it is a magnificent sight.
IN THE NEWS 2017:
WMAR TV 2- Mike Taylor take his first balloon flight
WBAL - TV Live coverage with Jennifer Thursday morning with Howard Kittleman and Miss Maryland International
WBAL-TV Live coverage with Jennifer Thursday morning media flight
Photos Courtesy of Kenny Adamsbaum
Video courtesy of Ken Adamsbaum
Numerous YouTube videos of 2017 Preakness Balloon Festival
Tethers in Action in 2016
see larger picture
Returning again -- the Roaming Railroad will be 'roaming' the grounds providing fun rides for all.
see See larger picture of festival layout
If a picture says a 1000 words, then see
--- 2016 in Pictures
--- 2015 in Pictures
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