2014 Citrus Classic Balloon Festival

For the past few years, I have attended Santa Paula's annual Citrus Classic Balloon Festival to take in the beautiful sights and sounds of hot air balloons. This past weekend was the weekend to grab my camera and make some images of the festival.

While I love the beautiful colors of the balloons when night falls and the balloons start to "glow", I love watching the set up of these massive balloons. The work and human power that goes into making the balloons light up the night sky is pretty amazing. Crews set up the balloons, handlers hold the balloons to keep them from taking a premature flight, and pilots work the controls to make this a beautiful and memorable event.

 Crews roll out balloons on the ground before blowing fans into them to inflate them.

Crews roll out balloons on the ground before blowing fans into them to inflate them.

 Crew members hold open the balloon so that air can get into the material.

Crew members hold open the balloon so that air can get into the material.

 A hot air balloon pilot blows heat into the balloon.

A hot air balloon pilot blows heat into the balloon.

 A young attendee is mesmerized by the balloons.

A young attendee is mesmerized by the balloons.

 An attendee looks at his camera phone to review his pictures.

An attendee looks at his camera phone to review his pictures.