Standing in the middle of ten balloons, all getting ready to take off, you can’t help but look around. You gaze in amazement at these huge, multi-colored balloons decorated like frogs, pumpkins, and gremlins, gently lifting and ready to break their earthly bonds. Your eyes then drift to the people around you and then a little farther. Everywhere you see… people…heads pointed up, eyes as wide as a child on Christmas morning, and smile after smile after smile. It’s 8AM on a Saturday morning and you don’t see a soul who doesn’t seem to be enjoying this.
It truly seemed like a cleanse for Park City. Whatever problems, troubles, or worries that people came with, they got left in the parking lot. There were neighbors sharing bagels. There were friends holding babies. There was a sense of calm and wonder and happiness that many of us haven’t felt in a long time.
Some people say chicken soup is good for the soul. I say balloon festivals are even better. I would attend one very month just for the pure joy I experienced and what I saw around me. I know it’s been 20 years since the last festival here. Maybe that’s what we’ve been missing.