The Extremely Great Reno Balloon Races

Hello dear reader(s)!

Today I went to the Great Reno Balloon Races.  Last I heard the races were the second largest hot air balloon gathering in the US behind Albuquerque, NM.  I got up at about 2:30 in the morning to shower and be ready to leave by 3:30.  Of course, when I say got up, I say that because I got up, I did not wake up.  I tried to go to sleep last night, but it just didn’t happen for me.  So basically, I lied in bed from about 7 until when I got up to get picked up and then meet another two friends to go balloon watching.

Why so early?

For the Glow Show, and then the Dawn Patrol.

What are those?

The Glow Show is synchronized lighting of a balloon’s envelope in the darkness as the balloons sit on the ground.

The Dawn Patrol is when six balloons actually take off in the dark, and light up the skies.

After the Dawn Patrol, once it gets light, we watched the mass ascension where approximately 90 balloons take off to race.  By race, I do not mean race.  From what I understand, the objective is to drop a bean-bag as close to a target X as they can.  Whoever gets the closest wins something.  Once they leave view, only the balloonists really care about that though.

I haven’t been to the races since before I was sick.  In 2012, when I was still in the hospital in Reno, we could see some from my hospital room window.  It felt really good being back.  I was careful to avoid the crowds, saw another one of my good friends there, and just generally had a blast.  But enough about  my babbling, let’s get to the pictures.

Glow Show
Dawn Patrol before take off
First Dawn Patrol balloon lifted off
3 of the 6 Dawn Patrol balloons overhead
Another Dawn Patrol balloon
4 of the Dawn Patrol in a cluster
Further away as the dawn is coming
Beautiful sunrise and a lot of people
Balloons beginning to inflate
More balloons inflating
First balloon I saw up
One balloon taking off as more inflate
One balloon being heated up
A couple flying as more are getting ready
A few in the sky and more on the way
One of the weird balloons
Some balloons overhead
Luke, I am your hot air balloon
And this balloon takes the checkered flag…or is the checkered flag
Many balloons up
Balloon I am, yes?
Lots of balloons and a seahorse
Fish bow balloon and more in the distance
This balloon is actually the back of what is supposed to look like Elvis

I have been awake this entire time, it is past noon here already.  I got home and had to do my fantasy football draft, so I am exhausted, but I had a great time.  If you ever find yourself in Reno, NV during the second weekend of September, I strongly recommend you check it out.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!


Author: Josh Wrenn

Cancer survivor, wanna-be artist, musician, author, and all around good guy.

8 thoughts on “The Extremely Great Reno Balloon Races”

  1. Wow, awesome, thank you! The pics are great! I think I’d like to go up in a balloon. I use to live in Champaign, Illinois, where ballooning is very big. I got used to hearing that special ROAR–WHOP as the propane jet opened and shut, and I would run outside to see the balloon that just floated over my house! My son, who was a baby then, learned the sound and would point skyward, shouting, “Boon! Boon!”

    Great that you had the opportunity to catch the whole thing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was a yearly thing growing up, and then stopped in my 20’s just because they changed a few things, but then went back one year and had a blast until I got sick. And of course, living so far away didn’t help. But now I’m much closer, so I am happy about that. I’ve been on a tethered ride once, but it was a big tether. We got up pretty high. I think I was about 10.

      Liked by 1 person

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