Inside the Basket - Kari Harris, First-time Balloon Fiesta Guest
We welcomed hundreds of thousands of guests to Balloon Fiesta Park this year; some event veterans, others were visiting us for the first time. It’s our hope that whether new or returning, every guest has a magical visit. This month we get to hear from first-time Balloon Fiesta guest, Kari Harris from Wichita, Kansas, who visited Balloon Fiesta with her husband and friends
1. Who did you attend your first Balloon Fiesta with and from where did you travel? I attended the Balloon Fiesta with my husband, Brian, and our friends Amanda, Drew, Amber, and Nick, all from Wichita, Kansas. This was the first time for all of us and it did not disappoint. My husband and I are already talking about going back again soon.
2. What made you want to attend Balloon Fiesta? Hot air balloons have interested me for years and I had heard a lot about the Balloon Fiesta. We’ve been planning to go every year since 2019 but had to keep rescheduling. However, as the 50th anniversary approached, we all knew 2022 was going to be the year for us!
3. What was your favorite part about attending the event? Riding in a hot air balloon has been on my bucket list and I thought there is no better way to check off that dream than to ride in one during the International Balloon Fiesta along with 650 other balloons flying in the sky. It’s truly a magical moment! One of my friends joined me in the air while my husband and our other three friends watched from the ground. I think they had as much fun watching all the crews come in, inflate their balloons, and watch them float into the air while the next crew rolled in, ready to launch the next line of balloons. I loved seeing all the different kinds of balloons, especially the fun shaped balloons, and it was fun talking to the pilots and learning more about hot air balloons.
4. Do you have any advice for people who are considering attending for the first time? Definitely plan on going multiple days. We were lucky to have perfect weather on the first day during the morning session. However, when we went to the evening glow the weather did not corporate and we didn’t have time to try for another day. Also, getting up at 2am is totally worth it! It was fun seeing everyone out and about before dawn, shopping in the different shops, and watching the drone show before heading out to the field for the balloon ride during the mass ascension. And don’t forget to dress in layers. It’s pretty cold in the morning and quickly warms up.
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