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Some background. The Renaissance era was a cultural movement that influenced literature, philosophy, art, politics, science and other intellectual inquiry.
A feast for the eyes. The setting is typically a village with lads, lords and other men appearing in cloaks and swashbuckler attire. Duchesses, countesses and other females don dignified gowns, underskirts, bodices and robes.
Belly full of laughs. Plentiful performers entertain: comic actors, jugglers, stilt walkers, trained jousters and medieval musicians and dancers.
Children laughing, playing and MOST of all having a great time was our intent. Judging by the looks of the two little girls in the photo, the Family Day was a success.
If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to fly as free as a bird, floating in a hot air balloon is about as close as you can get. Hot air balloon festivals abound in summer as a feast for the eyes. For the adventurous, commercial hot air balloon rides are increasingly available.
The first hot air balloon took flight in 1783 in France, with a sheep, a duck and a rooster on board. In 1793, George Washington witnessed the first balloon launch in North America, piloted by Frenchman Jean Pierre Blanchard.
The three basic components of the aircraft are the envelope, burner and basket. The envelope is the actual balloon that holds the air. The burner is the equivalent of an engine and drives hot air into the balloon. The basket is where the pilot and passengers stand. To drive the balloon upward, the pilot opens the propane valve. To move it downward, the pilot uses the parachute valve. To steer the balloon, the pilot moves the craft up or down, depending on the location of wind currents, and rides with the wind.
A commercial ride in a hot air balloon generally costs from $150 to $275, but often rides in tethered balloons are available for much less at festivals. Check out HotAirBalloon.com for a list of balloon festivals around the world.