Riders look out at attendees waiting in line from inside of the tethered hot air balloon on Saturday, Aug. 10, at Big Ball Park. Arthur and Ana Maria Gallegos enjoying the view right before things became extremely shaky. | SHANEL ROMAIN/Contributor
Laura Sabak, of Chicago, stands inside the basket holding on before the balloon takeoff on Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019, at Big Ball Park in Riverside, Ill. In Celebration of Riverside’s SesquiCentennial they offered tethered Hot Air Balloon Rides to the public. | SHANEL ROMAIN/Contributor
Pilots blasting the burner flames to inflate the parachute for Riverside’s Hot Air Balloon Affair on Saturday, Aug. 10, at Big Ball Park in Riverside, Ill. | SHANEL ROMAIN/Contributor
Ticket holders for the Riverside Hot Air Balloon Affair snap pictures of the first group being tethered 50 feet in the air on Saturday, Aug. 10, at Big Ball Park in Riverside, Ill. | SHANEL ROMAIN/Contributor
Connor Szymczyk attempts to “blow the balloon in place” as pilots struggle to keep it from tilting over. In Celebration of Riverside’s SesquiCentennial they offered Hot Air Balloon Rides to the public. | SHANEL ROMAIN/Contributor
More than 100 people, participants and spectators combined, turned out Aug. 10 to witness the Riverside Lions Club’s Hot Air Balloon Affair in Big Ball Park, but an unexpected uptick in winds forced organizers to scrap the event after one brief, but eventful ride in the tethered balloon. Organizer Alex Gallegos said there are plans to reschedule the event on a date yet to be determined
Weather on Aug. 10 appeared perfect for the Riverside Lions Club’s Hot-Air Balloon Affair celebrating Riverside’s 150th birthday, and scores of people showed up to ride the balloon and just watch, like Connor Szymczyk, who attempted to blow the balloon into place as pilots struggled to keep it from tipping over when winds started to kick up. Laura Sabak, of Chicago, and Arthur and Ana Maria Gallegos were among the few who went aloft – about 15 or 20 feet – before gusty winds forced the event to be scrapped. It will be rescheduled at a later date.