Friday, April 25, 2008

Derby Festival Part 2



I have lived in the Derby City most of my life. Until this week, I was not aware that horse racing and hot air balloons were so closely linked together. There are five (count them, 5) hot air balloon events in three days. Silly me, I was thinking that the Derby Festival revolved around the horse race, not the balloon race. Last night there was a "balloon glimmer."








This morning there was a "rush hour race" complete with traffic accidents as the balloons raced over the interstates during rush hour traffic. (Yes, I too question the wisdom of this event, but who are we to stand in the way of derby hype?) Tonight is the "balloon glow" which differs from the "balloon glimmer" in some way that is totally confusing to me. According to official propaganda, a "glimmer" is a "mini-glow." (The real difference appears to be about 54,500 fans. I'd go with the glimmer.) Then tomorrow is the US Bank Derby Festival Great Hot Air Balloon Race. No helium balloon racing allowed. Weather conditions at this point do not appear to be too favorable for this event. Anyhow, all the balloons follow a "hare" balloon across the city and try to drop a bag of Kentucky bluegrass seed on the "X" that the hare balloon sets out. There have been many years where the balloons fly right over our house. I'll be waiting with my camera in case that happens. There is some other balloon event this weekend as well but I think I'm about out of "hot air." (That one's for you, MJ, queen of puns. That's the only one I'm doing.)



There is one other event on Monday that is worthy of note. That is the Stockyards Bank Great Bed race. Here is the description featured in the Derby Festival Event Guide:



A variety of decked-out beds will take to the track at Broadbent Arena competing for the fastest times on Monday, April 28. The five-person teams dress in wild and crazy costumes to compete in this wacky task. No sleeping allowed! Thousands of bed-racing enthusiasts gather to cheer their favorite beds.
In 2007, 38 teams pushed decorated beds on wheels around the “track,” competing for the fastest times and best decorations. The U.A.W./Ford Louisville Assembly Plant #1 and the Curtain Call Photo Booth teams’ creativity and speed dominated the “Champions” and “Fun” divisions. A crowd of more 4,000 fans came to cheer on their favorite beds at Broadbent Arena. The theme of the 2007 Bed Races was “Bedknobs and Broomsticks” and featured tributes to characters from the popular movie. The Champions Division showcased some of the event’s most veteran competitors and the Dormitory area at the venue was once again a big hit with pre-race tailgating and practice runs. The races featured some of the toughest competition yet, and included flat tires, tumbling runners and mattresses falling through bed frames.


Of course, a picture is worth a thousand words. Kind of makes you wish you were here, huh?

5 comments:

Lori - The Simple Life at Home said...

Oh, I love to watch hot air balloons!! I'm so jealous. Although I don't really get the difference between a glimmer or a glow either. Everything is marketing, I guess.

And, yeah, it doesn't seem real smart to have a balloon race go right over a major highway. Duh! Who came up with that plan?

Ang baylis said...

I LOVE hot air balloons! That video was soooooo cool! I hope you can get pictures. Have your camera ready, girlfriend!
I love being a part of this huge event via blog land!
Love,
Angie xoxo

Nise' said...

As a kid I wanted to up in an hot air balloon. Now, I think I would be too chicken.

You are the winner my second chance bloggy giveaway drawing for the Dove Choclate bar! I loved your comment!

annie's eyes said...

Karen, this is too fun. You said the Derby was a big deal, and I honestly never knew it was more than a mint julep and a fun hat. I am learning so much. This beats Mardi Gras. Does it take you lots of extra time to get to work when everyone comes to town? Greg lives in Daytona, but horse racing is so higher class than racing cars. And racing beds??? One day, I'll have to dig out a picture of my co-leader, me, and 7 Cub Scouts behind a "bee" mobile--pushmobile race and yes, we all wore antennas. So bed racing might be my next big thing! Loved! the post.
Thanks for sharing. Love, Annette

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