Mike Chowla
Great Reno Balloon Race 2008:

Great Reno Balloon Race

The Great Reno Balloon Race is an annual hot air balloon festival that takes place in Rancho San Rafael Park which is near downtown Reno. The "race" is not a race is sense of how people usually think of races where the competition is to go the farthest the fastest. The balloons do compete in a number of competitions. As a spectator who was more interested in the visual spectacle, the competition aspect was not the focus of my attention. I was busy being captivated by the awesome sight of almost 100 balloons launching.

Dawn Patrol

Before the sun rises, a small number of balloons inflate and light up for for dawn patrol. The warm light from the propane burners creates quite the spectacle. After some simultaneous glows on the ground, the balloons take flight into the pre-dawn sky. Dawn patrol is beautiful sight and well worth getting up before the sun rises.