At 7pm on June 15th, people lined up along the fence waiting anxiously to enter the Mile High Festival at Mile High Middle School. The festival featured live music by the band Salt of the Earth and lots of grassy space for families to spread out blankets and folding chairs to take in the views of three massive hot air balloons.
Shortly after the start of the festival the balloonists began to fill the hot air balloons. Huge fans were switched on and aimed into the balloons. Two strong individuals were tasked with holding open the base of the balloon while the pilot and other helpers moved around the balloon ensuring the entire balloon was filled with air from the fan. When the pilot was satisfied, he moved quickly turning on the burners and sending that first burst of flame into the balloon. A few short burns and suddenly the balloon began to lift off the ground. Several workers moved quickly to help the pilot stand the basket upright while the pilot continued to do burns as needed.
Photo by Kristina Abbey
Festival goers were given drink tickets to sample the brews offered by Lumberyard Brewing Company and Modern Times Beer. Those who were not drinking were given a discounted admission to the event. Food trucks lined the edge of the event offering everything from tasty barbeque and corned beef sandwiches to savory samosas and spicy nachos.
Photo by Kristina Abbey
One noted booth setup was The Sister Cities program, an international program designed to promote peace between the U.S. and Mexico. Caborca, Mexico is the sister city to Prescott, AZ and those running the booth were proud to say that they were able to bring several visitors up from Caborca to visit just for the Mile High Festival. With a goal to build a ‘better climate toward world understanding’ and to fulfill the ‘desire of the citizens of the Prescott area to learn about the people of Heroica Caborca, Mexico’, this program offers educational exchange programs and social, cultural, and charitable programs. A portion of the proceeds of the Mile High Festival went to benefit this wonderful program and also, the booth was selling unique cookies with a Mexican flair and offering a 50/50 raffle.
In all, the Mile High Festival was a unique event to support a wonderful cause. It was an evening of fun for all ages.
Photo by Ron Williams