Balloons Galore!

Close to two dozen brilliantly colorful hot air balloons lifted off from Norton Park at dawn Saturday to kick off the annual Plainville Balloon Fest sponsored by the Plainville Fire Co. The event is one of the last balloon festivals in the northeast and usually attracts close to 25,000 visitors every year. Many balloonists felt that there was too much wind to fly Saturday morning but at close to 6:40 am, the giant balloons began lifting off to the delight of the early-rising crowd.

Robert Zirpolo of Plainville, a veteran balloonist of 30 years, fills his balloon with hot air in preparation for take-off Saturday morning.

Robert Zirpolo of Plainville, a veteran balloonist of 30 years, fills his balloon with hot air in preparation for take-off Saturday morning.

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