The Mesquite Hot-Air Balloon Festival begins this weekend at the CasaBlanca Resort. Beautiful balloons will be traveling up, up and away, taking off from the Oasis Parking lot on Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings at 7:30 a.m. (weather permitting).
Weather isn’t very promising for the weekend – reports are calling for rain, but that hasn’t dampened everyone’s spirits in the past.
In years prior winds have kept the balloons on the ground but not in vain. Many of the pilots are so passionate about their hobby or business that they’re more than willing to do what they can to help spread the knowledge. Even if the balloons can’t take to the skies, the pilots have still taken the time to set everything up for a brilliant display of inflated balloons nonetheless. Weather also hasn’t kept the community from enjoying the festivities; people have come out in droves to be a part of this wonderful event.
Since Sept. 19, 1783 when Pilatre De Rozier, a scientist, launched the first hot air balloon called ‘Aerostat Reveillon’ people have been fascinated with the mystery of traveling through the air although the first passengers on the hot air balloon were a sheep, a duck and a rooster. The balloon stayed in the air for a total of 15 minutes before crashing back to the ground; DeRozier was a smart guy.
The first manned attempt came about two months later on Nov. 21. A balloon made by two French brothers, Joseph and Etienne Montgolfier was launched from the center of Paris and flew for 20 minutes. This was considered the birth of hot air ballooning.
In 1785 a French balloonist, Jean Pierre Blanchard, and his American co-pilot, John Jefferies, became the first to fly across the English Channel.
After you have had your fill of the colorful display of balloons and soaked up the wealth of knowledge the pilots will offer, you can visit the Showroom where there are two performances scheduled for the Popovich World Famous Comedy Pet Theatre. Both shows are free to the public. Performance times are 9:30 and 11 a.m.
At 6 p.m. each evening you can gather in the CasaBlanca’s south parking lot for the most spectacular display of color when many of the pilots light up the night skies with their enormous balloons (weather permitting).
Walk around and get a close up view of the balloons, talk to the pilots, ask questions.
Over 35 Hot Air Balloon pilots and crews from all over the West and Canada are bringing their passion for flying. They are eager to share their knowledge and love of balloons with the entire community. This is a family friendly event with entertainment throughout the entire weekend that kids of all ages can enjoy.
For more information on the Balloon Festival go to www.casablancaresort.com