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Ascension Hot Balloon Festival returns in Gonzales

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GONZALES - The Ascension Hot Air Balloon Festival is back this year. Friday night 12 balloons light up for hundreds to see.

“This overcompensates what we thought of because I mean it's much bigger, you just see them in the sky and they look bitty,” said Jennifer Devall who traveled from Baton Rouge.

The balloons are far from small. Pilot of seven years Fred Poole says his hot air balloon is around 70 to 80 ft. long.

“I woke up one morning and decided I was going to fly balloons,” he said.

Preparing the balloons is no joke. The crews start with getting the basket ready, then unravel the material and turn on the fan for the balloon to take shape.

“We put a bunch of cold air in it, pack it tight, that’s what inflates it enough to put the heat in it,” said Poole.

But it takes heat to stand the balloons up. At the very top, Poole says the temperature reaches 171 degrees.

“The colors are beautiful and the people are really nice out here,” said Devall.

All the pilots know each other, and come together to give the community a glimpse into their flying world.

The festival continues Saturday from 11 a.m to 11 p.m. Tickets are $6 dollars.

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