Hot Air Balloon Days depend on winds to cooperate - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Hot Air Balloon Days depend on winds to cooperate


Pilots from the tri state area came out  to the 10th annual Hot Air Balloon Days in Wakefield, NE with the hopes of getting their balloons up in the sky.

"I just like the getaway, to be able to go up for an hour, and just relax. It's so peaceful and calm," Balloonist Matt Smith, of Sioux Falls, SD, said.

But, to achieve this kind of peace means the winds need to cooperate. The weather is a concern every year for balloon days. And, Saturday morning, the winds were too strong to take flight.

"The toughest thing about this whole event is that it's so weather dependent, the pilots cannot lift off if the winds are over 12 miles per hour. So, it's always a risk," Balloon Committee Chairman Val Bard said.

Gordon Emry has been ballooning since 1992. He was ready take a ride, but knew it was a better decision to stay grounded.

"We have a saying that 'I'd rather be on the ground wishing that I'd gone up in the air than to be up in the air wishing I'd stayed on the ground,'" Emry said.

Even though the balloonists couldn't take their balloons up in the sky when they planned on it, they said they weren't too disappointed because it comes along with the territory of their hobby.

"That's part of ballooning. You have to do what the weather gives you, you can't do anything else," Emry said.

Emry added putting up with the weather is worth it for his passion.

Another balloon launch is planned for Sunday at 7:30a.m. as long as the weather cooperates.

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