09/15/2007: Great Forest Park Balloon Race
Here are less than 99 (of the 250) shots of the
2007 Great Forest Park Balloon Race taken by Dan Klarmann on 9/15/2007. Karen failed to persuade me to enter the photo contest. Maybe next year.

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Click on any thumbnail to begin browsing the larger images and (sometimes clever) captions.
The first in a series of shots showing the inflation of the Energizer bunny balloon
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Picture P1030842
Notice the man-high opening being held up to let the heavy-duty blowers begin their work
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Air howls into the nylon shell
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The Bunny Crew works to loosen folds for better air influx
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The air starts to reach the ears. Helicopter circles the field
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The feet and the battery start to take form
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Face-down bunny inflates slowly
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Bunny hot foot?
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And the warmer, lighter air begins to get a rise.
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Up pops the bunny, stabilized by the crew.
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How many Bunny Crew members does it take to hold down a bag of hot air?
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More flame, more gain. Preparing to board.
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Wave bye-bye to the bunny
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Flame broiled bunny, the hare in this race.
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"Up, up, and away" plays over the loud speakers as the first of the chase balloons are inflated
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Dan has a camera that suits the needs of the shorter-than-the-crowd. (Karen took this shot with her phone)
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Picture kj200709151707a
From flat to fluffy, these expensive tapestries are tended. The helicopter flies around and around
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The first chase balloons are almost ready to go!
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Tilting up the basket
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Spectators, workers, and millions of dollars of nylon
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RAT is the name of this one. I wonder why?
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Balloon shadow gives my eyes a rest. See the sun glow through the balloon?
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Note the balloon of a different size?
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Pretty.
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Blinded by the sun on this hazy day.
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Not as close as they look
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Six in a shot. There'll be more.
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KMOV is probably in the helicopter (not shown)
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I usually see United Van Lines on the Interstate, not overhead.
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Like boats, all these air ships have names. This one is "America"
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Seven in a shot
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Eight
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Rat and the rabbit, a menagerie in the offing?
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Rat flame
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Only five, but I liked the clouds
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This one looks interesting!
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"A Balloon"
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Oblivious jet in the stratosphere sees these balloons as on the ground.
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Starting to get a rise, but what's with the shape?
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Panic! A gust of wind catches two crews at the vulnerable point of neutral bouancy. Balloons sweep toward the crowd, and the fence.
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National City aborts; note the open trap on top. The other took damage from the fence and scrubbed minutes later. Very sad : (
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Seven and a half (on the left), not counting the toys
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Mayflower and Pepsi rear up. Bunny in the bushes.
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An even dozen above.
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Bright sun, dark balloon
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Ten up, five still on the ground
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Twelve, plus a half off the top
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Fifteen, and still not the most in one shot.
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Bunny hovers, waiting for more chasers
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Eighteen, still rising
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Got Air?
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Twenty-Three, not enough, yet. Remember, that's only one direction in a sky full of balloons
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Only 22 balloons in this narrow slice of sky over mid-town.
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Seventeen, counting the Bunny (top left is his foot)
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Sponsor tents and balloons. You count them
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Another Pepsi, in case we missed the first
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Hi, high hare.
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Not a helipad
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Does Bass Pro have darts?
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Pepsi can warmer
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Mayflower, Pepsi, and the bunny
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Another Bunny trio (still watching from the launch site)
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Flat Earth?
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The United Van looks melted
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Flat Earth rising
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Alpo has yet to roll out their balloon
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Alpo inflates
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Sillouette, jaunty silouette
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Here I've digitally tweaked the previous dark image. See the guy lying on the St Louis Balloon?
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Picture P1040039a
Alpo photographer isn't looking where I am. Flaming Van
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Picture P1040043
Alpo rising with flame
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Shooting into the light
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Across the sponsor pavillions you see the Chase Park Plaza
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Who has gas?
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I suspect that pilot wanted a closer look
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Alpo aloft!
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Balloons are pretty
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Cut to the Chase. Note the one down in the trees? They are fighting for a northerly breeze.
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Overexposed, but looks like pouring popcorn
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Popcorn right side up
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Quite a wide field chasing the Bunny
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Balloon shadow on a pavillion, and a crowd of spectators
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Hot popcorn
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Human ballast for Wehrenberg
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Bunny is far away, compare the gondolas
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Almost all are aloft
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St Louis eclipses the sun, for me, for a moment
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Karen takes a shot of Dan
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An empty field, the locus of an hour of fast launches.
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The airships aloft, the ground crews give chase
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Three
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Assorted contestants heading in the right direction
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Flat Earth over Energizer
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Again, compare the gondolas for distance
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Karen took this shot of Dan taking a shot of the last balloon rising using her trusty phone
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Twenty seven, again. About as many are out of frame
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The fairgrounds for this balloon festival
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One last shot, as we cross the parking lot to head home.
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