ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s day eight of Balloon Fiesta, and despite some bad weather, people made sure to have a fun time.
“It’s pretty disappointing I’m not gonna lie, but overall I’m just happy to be here and spend time with my family,” said visitor, Sunny Nodine.
“Yeah, it is cool just being to experience it; we’ve been watching on TV up in Denver all week, you know, and looking at it, and it’s cool to just be here,” said visitor, Kevin Barry.
Huddles of umbrellas and pilots packing up their trucks. Gloomy weather canceled another mass ascension, and pilots were forced to go home.
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Collin McClung, pilot of the “Freedom Breeze” balloon, shares the nine mornings with people from around the globe.
“It’s pretty interesting, and it’s a big privilege just to know that you’re sitting out here on this big, this massive thing, and you’re, all these other people are gonna get to see it, and you get to be a part of that,” said crew member Kyle McClung.
He also shares it with his crew, who happens to be his wife, two in-laws, and five kids. He said, when it rains, it’s just as heartbreaking for pilots as it is for visitors.
“Well, yeah, you know, it’s hard because you wake everyone up, you get the kids all ready, it’s early in the morning, we get out here. We’re all hopeful; we really wanna fly,” explained Pilot Collin McClung.
He said, even though things didn’t go as planned, he still cherishes each moment.
“We’re fortunate enough to get the events off that we’ve gotten off and every time that we get to go up in the air for fiesta, it’s just one more memory that I get to keep,” said McClung.
Memories that he says, he’s lucky enough to share with his family.
“So, we like to say we grew our own crew, so we have about 11-months all the way up to 12-years-old,” said Brianna McClung, mother and Freedom Breeze crew member.
The McClungs are keeping their fingers crossed that weather will be good for Sunday morning’s final mass ascension. It kicks off at 5:45 A.M. with a drone show. If the weather allows, the balloons will launch at 7 A.M.