Balloons on fire!

Every November, Cincinnati hosts this crazy little festival — Balluminaria — where a bunch of people light up hot air balloons around a lake on a hill. Every November, I’ve wanted to go. This is the first time it happened. It was bizarre and beautiful. Thanks to everyone who made it so fun (and to my iPhone for playing along with these photos).

After the jump, I’ve got some grown-up (and maybe not exactly legal) tips to Balluminaria, plus a final reminder that crack is whack.

Tip 1: Balluminaria runs from 4-6 p.m., but I don’t see the point in getting there early unless you’re one of the photographers looking for the best shot from the lake’s edge. We ended up sitting around and waiting for signs of balloons to appear, which didn’t happen until after 5 p.m.

Tip 2: Food lines are long, so bring a picnic. We’re going to do that next year. We’re also going to bring Starbucks cups filled with liquids that are not coffee. You know what I’m talking about.

Tip 3: Parking is a pain, so think creatively. Consider alternative lots — or do what we did and jump into a cab.

Tip 4: Get close to the balloons! I don’t know if this was a security breach, but once the balloons were inflated, the yellow caution tape came down and we were able to walk through the balloons. This was mostly an awesome experience, except that we saw this:

Photo credit: DSL

Tip 5: Wear a long shirt. Or just keep that thing at home. Please. No one wants to see that.


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