Hot Air Ballooning Over The National Cherry Festival

“We are here just for Cherry Festival, we drove up from Texas.”

Hot air ballooning is an early morning adventure. And for the Touchstone Energy Cherryland Electric Balloon this morning, the weather couldn’t be better.

“Once the balloon is full of air, we can go ahead and add propane heat to it, so we fired up the burners and added the heat and the balloon came up,” says hot air balloon pilot Cheri White. “Then we were off to the sky.”

It’s a peaceful easy feeling, gliding over houses, trees, water, and in one of the most beautiful parts of the country, it’s easy to see why people get hooked. Cheri has been flying since she was 14 years old.

“You just float with the wind, just nice and calm,” explains Cheri. “It’s just a peaceful feeling, seeing the earth right as everything is waking up.”

The Touchstone Energy Cherryland Electric Balloon is here all week, promoting the festival, our area, and the services they provide.

“This is a tradition most of this community is served by Cherryland Electric Co-op and so members own the balloon,” says Cheri. “We come to Cherry Festival to celebrate the members and the public and the people that are here enjoying Cherry Festival, and everyone sees a balloon and they identify with the peacefulness of the balloon.”

Cheri tells us, “Ballooning started back in the 1700's, and all your doing is putting plain air back into envelope, and you've got propane burners that fire gas into the balloon and the gas heats the air, and the gas is what gives the balloon its lift.”

Perhaps the best part about ballooning is how simple it really is. How quiet. And when it’s time to come back to reality, a soft landing will do the trick.

“A lot of the Cherryland Electric Co-op members who live in these farms where we landed today will be out at the festival. It’s just a good celebration for them.”

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