The Great Reno Balloon Race is a three-day event in Reno, Nevada that is held each September. By coincidence I just happened to be in town on the first day of the 2012 races. At dawn 87 hot air balloons lifted from the Rancho San Rafael Park in a mass ascension to launch the event.
The first balloon into the sky was a significant moment for the city of Reno. The balloon also had a fly past of 3 North American T-6 Texan aircraft to commemorate those lost in the aircraft crash at the Reno Air Races in 2011. It was a touching moment for all those that were present.
Standing there in the early morning as all these hot air balloons were inflated and lifted into the sky really was something special. Slowly but surely the sky was full of balloons. Such a spectacular sight!
The colours and different shapes of the balloons was a sight to behold, from traditional designs to a panda bear, stage-coach, Pepsi Can, goldfish, Smokey the Bear, a shark and my all time favourite….a giant Darth Vader helmet (this balloon had come all the way from Belgium for the event)!
This was a really unique experience for me as I had only ever previously seen maybe 5 or 6 hot air balloons in the sky at any one time. I am glad I just happened to be in Reno on the right day to see the event take off!