Balloons, balloons and more balloons! They are so big, so colorful and full of gas...like so many people I know!
Lisle, Illinois is a nearby town that celebrates our Nation's Birthday with Eyes to the Skies, an event spanning a few days with a carnival, craft booths, live music and lots of great food! Oh, and yes some very large balloons! I was so happy to hear about this event and having an extra day off this year, took advantage of getting out of the house with my DH and my love, Tootsie.
We parked a few blocks from the event and walked (my aerobics for the day) only to find that there were "No Dogs Allowed" at the event. We were disappointed, but not discouraged. There was plenty of park area not being used for the event, so we looked around for a place to relax. We brought chairs, snacks and a water dish for Tootsie, so we thought we would make the most of a few hours by enjoying the outdoors.
Shortly after settling under a very shady tree, a live band began to play inside of the event. The stage was located along the side barrier 50 yards from our nesting spot. Wow! Did we luck out or what! After a few hours of "60's through 80's" music, we began to wonder where the big balloons were located, and if we'd get to see them.
Around 5:00pm we could hear the gas fires begin to erupt. We couldn't see much as there were trees blocking the area that housed the balloons. Slowly, one at a time, they began to appear and lift off. I had never been this close to these balloons so it was thrilling for me to watch them as they launched. My pictures do not do justice to the beautiful colors of each balloon.
Then, to our surprise, the large empty area where we had been sitting began to fill up with people in red shirts. Serena's Song was the logo on the shirts and I became quite interested in what was going on. A few vans with the same logo pulled on to the grass and began emptying their contents. A table was set up by members of Seaspar, an organization that provides year round recreation activities for individuals with disabilities. The activity of many members flurried as they greeted and recorded lists of disabled individuals.
In what was a wide-open space of freshly cut grass, a large basket could be seen. Several members pulled out something large and blue that needed to be unrolled. It was the skin of a very large balloon. I have never experienced a start-to-finish balloon making before. I was mesmerized! Once the balloon was up and fully functional, I realized why there was a table set up with people "taking names." Everyone who signed up got a free tethered ride in the balloon. I was so touched by the looks on the faces of these red-shirted individuals who ranged from children to elderly. Serena's Song has been part of the Eyes To The Skies for 20 years, bringing ear-to-ear smiles from all who gather at this event. It was a privilege and deeply felt sense of joy to witness this event!