Collinsville, Oklahoma
July 31, 2008
Gatesway Balloon Festival

Media Balloon Flights Thursday
Previewed August 1-2-3 Event
Two Miles East Of Claremore At Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs

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Ted Wright -- last update 8/1/2008 (GateswayBalloons.html)

Copyright 2008 -- Collinsville, Oklahoma

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Miss Collinsville Teen, Jennifay Nichols, posed before her media flight Thursday. She will sing the National Anthem to open the public event Friday August 1st and entertain again later that evening for the Gatesway Foundation fundraiser.
I was fortunate enough to be invited to fly on the center balloon (from Kansas City) here for the Gatesway Festival. -- Ted Wright
Event Schedule
The balloons launched from the midfield area of the horse race track.
The balloons drifted to the southwest from the race track in a very light wind Thursday and searched for suitable landing areas among the rural houses and power lines.
Boyd & Wyatt Bolin (from Collinsville) were on the ground crew for the balloon that landed next to the balloon that I rode in (in the background). -- Ted
The gondola and 60,000 cubic foot balloon are out of the travel van but still partially in the carrying bag with crew member Curt Matlach and owner Amanda Sabia connecting the fabric ropes to the gondola.
Inflating the balloon on the ground (above & below) with a fan initially, then with heated propane
Chris Sabia was my pilot and controlled the elevation by flaring the burners just above our heads in the wicker basket we both rode in for a short flight July 31st.
Boyd Bolin holds the line to help bring down a landed balloon near some anxious horses.
After landing the balloons are folded up and loaded in the travel vehicles for a future trip,
This was a familiar balloon to me as I had seen the same or similar balloon (from the City of Plano, Texas) when I attended a balloon festival in Richardson, Texas in about 1983 while living in Garland, Texas.
-- Ted
The balloonist are also playing a game of hare and hound with the lead (hare) balloon setting an X on the ground which the following balloons (hounds) will try to hit with a marker.
Hi Ted,
We were so happy you came out to media night. The Balloon ride was amazing! We hope you will get to come back out for Friday night show. Jennifay will be emceeing the festival all weekend & Headliner Friday @ 7:30pm playing a dual role for High School Musical Troy Herring will also be performing with her as a dual role. Show is from 7:30-8:30. Balloon Glow @ 8:30pm & Jennifay & Troy returning @ 9:30pm to perform their own style of music. Jennifay has worked very hard to coordinate all the entertainment & competitions for the weekend. She has located 20+ sponsors to donate a multitude of prizes for drawings & prizes. We hope you and other Collinville residents will be able to come out and enjoy the weekend. We have many Collinsville performers lined up for entertainment. Larry Escalanta as a Gimme the Mike weekly winner that will be performing for us Saturday night. Altar Call will be performing Sunday morning before the LIL Mr. and Miss Balloon Fest Competition. Many more people from Collinsville area. I am including some pictures we took during the Balloon ride.
Thanks, Joy & Jennifay (8/1/2008)