BILLINGS — The last day of the Big Sky International Balloon Rendezvous went without a hitch. The event has been happening for nearly 30 years with pilots coming from across the country, Canada, and Europe.
“When you get up early in the morning to watch balloons in flight, there must be something interesting about it,” Sarah James, a balloon fest spectator said, on Sunday.
Nineteen pilots participated in this year’s event at Amend Park in Billings, including Jamie Kinghorn. He traveled all the way from High River Alberta, Canada to fly his balloon, the Eye of Ra.
“To be up in the air is a magical experience. You’re literally floating in the air, you’re floating. The views are incredible,” Kinghorn said.
He’s been participating in the event since it began in 1993. Thankfully, all flights were a go over the weekend.
“This year’s been really good, we’ve got all of them so far. We’ve got three and we did a bit of a glow last night,” Kinghorn said.
The Eye of Ra didn’t fly over Billings Sunday but was used to give kids an up-close look of how a hot air balloon works.
The event is free and open to the public and was held from July 22 to 24 this year. Jessica Griffin and her daughter drove from Park City to see the spectacle.
“Now I want to go on a hot air balloon ride,” Griffin said.
The fun isn’t just for the public. Folks can volunteer to help set up and take down balloons. It’s Afton Perry’s second time volunteering.
“Come join the fun. It’s seriously a lot of fun,” said Perry.