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Public Tips

Tips for Seeing the Balloons

It is a grand family experience to come to John Stiff Park or Palo Duro Canyonand watch all the balloons drifting into the morning sky above Amarillo. Here are a few “tips” to enhance your basic experience for this years gathering of hot air balloons.

Always dress for the morning:
It usually doesn’t take long for the temperatures to come up, but it does start chilly first thing in the morning. Experienced balloon fans dress in layers so that they can “shed” a layer as the temperature comes up.

Speaking of dressing for the morning, the grass in the Park is usually pretty wet with overnight dew right after sunrise, so you might ponder the possibility of waterproof shoes for the smaller guys and gals in your family.

Taking Pictures:
You’ve never seen the likes of our “ham” pilots before. They’ll always take a moment to pose for a picture with you next to a balloon or basket; all you have to do is ask and “asking” is the key word here. Please don’t presume to enter a balloon for a picture without first obtaining permission from the pilot or crew chief.

Looking for the perfect “shot” … here’s a hint, closer is not always better.

Bringing Your Pets?:
Despite the fact that we’ve been telling people for years not to bring their pet to the park during balloon operations, some people still will.

While its very true that pilots don’t appreciate having their balloons “marked” as it were, or spreading them out over the spot “Fido” last made a pit stop, it actually goes a bit farther than that.

The burners that power the balloons make a sound that is inaudible to humans, but when experienced up close by your pet, actually hurts his/her sensitive ears. It’s the same reason that dogs bark and cats, horses and cows beat feet the opposite direction when a balloon fly’s overhead. Give your pet a break, leave it home!

It is perfectly appropriate to bring a lawn chair with you. Remember though, that balloon that you see laying on the ground is going to grow nearly 20 times bigger than it is laying stretched out without air. If a pilot or crewmember asks you to move your chairs, please do so with a smile.

For Your Safety (and everyone else as well):
  • Never, ever, EVER, step on a balloon. Always be mindful of where your feet are.
  • Please listen carefully to any instructions given over the P.A. system.
  • We would appreciate it if you would refrain from smoking on the field. Propane fumes will sink to the ground and are very explosive! Please, simply walk to the edge of the site before you light up, we wouldn’t want a burned balloon from a dropped cigarette either.
Enjoy The Pirates … The show is for you and your family!