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Hugging the ground: Citrus Classic Balloon Festival

Crowds show up for Citrus Classic Balloon Festival in Santa Paula

Posted: August 2, 2009 10:30 p.m.
Updated: August 3, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Balloons at the festival didn't get far off the ground due to fog, but 10 balloons were raised and families were able to pay for tethered hot-air balloon rides. The Citrus Classic Balloon Festival drew 300-400 people.

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The hot-air balloons didn't get far off the ground Saturday at the Citrus Classic Balloon Festival in Santa Paula, but those in attendance didn't seem to mind much.

Twenty balloons were due to take flight, but fog grounded them. Three miles of visibility is required for hot-air ballooning.

Organizers still lifted 10 of the balloons, and two gave "tethered rides" to participants.

The event drew scores of observers and photographers, who were invited up close to watch as balloonists first blew air into the colorful envelopes with giant fans, then blew flames into them.

Warming air inside gradually lifted the balloons and righted the baskets beneath them.

Some 300-400 people turned out for the festival, which featured activities all day long, including games for children, live music, and a wine and beer garden.

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