ZACHARY, La. (BRPROUD) – The first-ever Really Hot Air Balloon Festival was a success for the City of Zachary.
The free festival was held on Saturday, Aug. 12 at BREC Zachary Community Park and featured all kinds of fun activities such as games, face painting, a mechanical bull ride, arts and crafts and food trucks.
Several hundred people attended the festival to ride the balloons, including Matthew Thibodeaux and Ashley Lopez. The couple were some of the first in line to ride one of the six hot air balloons.
“It was fun. Felt weightless for once,” said Lopez. “Been wanting to ride one for years, we live in Slaughter, and they are always flying over the house, and I always see them. Always wanted to be in one.”
After the ride, Thibodeaux got down on one knee and asked the woman he loved to marry him.
For those who didn’t go up in a balloon, many sat on their lawn chairs or blankets to watch the show.
Brittney Young, a crew member, said it was the biggest turnout for an event in Zachary.
Young said her favorite balloon was Bessy, which resembled the American Flag. Young hopes the event will return to the city.
There were six pilots at the festival. Four were stationary for the Balloon Glow Show while the other two offered tethered rides. Due to the weather, the show was cut short.
Jeffery Jones was the pilot of a purple and gold balloon called the Zephyrus. It was the smallest of the six balloons.
Jones has been flying in hot air balloons since he was born. He said the rides are peaceful.
“It’s a way to get away from the ground,” said Jones. “All the noise and everything and enjoy yourself.”