As I walked down to Bayfront Park in Duluth, Minnesota I noticed that some of the roads had been blocked off. I wasn’t sure why but I soon found out. There were growing crowds at the Le Festival des Montgolfières in Bayfront Park. They weren’t there for the balloon festival they were there for the Color Run.
There was a lot of excitement in the air. There was a group on the stage leading exercises and the music was really pounding.
Apparently this was a fun run because many of the participants were dressed in strange costumes.
At the start of the race a bunch of kids were out in front and they were still out in front at the end of the race.
At various locations throughout Canal Park folks were throwing colored powder at the participants. Very strange!
I had problems getting back to the condo because there were so many “runners” on the Lakewalk.
Le Festival des Montgolfières is Duluths version of a balloon festival. It started three years ago. At the time I thought the first year would be the last year because Duluth is not situated in a good location. The winds have to be just right so the balloons don’t sail out into Lake Superior. I don’t think they have ever had an ascension although it is on their schedule. They do have tethered balloon rides but that is a poor substitute . Nevertheless they are still having the event. This year was combined with a kids kite flying event and a Color Run. It looked like most of the people were at Bayfront Park for the Color Run and very few people were paying any attention the the balloons.
After the balloons were deflated the Kiwanis held their Family Kite Fly. Lots of fun watching the kids flying kites.
We had a chance to visit the Bentleyville Tour of Lights this week. It is Billed as America’s Largest Free Walk Through Lighting Display. This year it is bigger and better than ever with new displays covering a larger area. Visitors are is located at Bayfront Park on the shores of Lake Superior in Duluth, Minnesota. Even better they have complimentary hot cocoa, cookies, popcorn and roasted marshmallows! If you haven’t had a chance to visit the display and you are in the Duluth area be sure to stop in. You can even purchase a book entitled “Bentleyville Tour of Lights” with many of my photos in it.
More Photographs from the Tour of Lights can be found on my website.
I was contacted last fall asking if I would donate some photos of Bentleyville for a souvenir book they were producing. I agreed and now the book is available at Bentleyville. In all I have over a dozen photos in the book including the cover photo.
If you are in Duluth, Minnesota during the holiday season be sure to stop at the Bentleyville Tour of Lights. Here are a few of the photos that were included in the book.
More photos from Bentleyville can be found on my website.
Last weekend we attended the first ever Le Festival des Montgolfieres at Bayfront Prk in Duluth, Minnesota. As near as I can tell it is the only balloon festival in Minnesota.
We headed down to the Park early in the evening on Friday. As it turned dark the plan was to inflate the balloons for a balloon glow as the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra played in the background. As it turned out there was too much wind so they arranged the baskets in front of the stage and turned on the burners at strategic points in the music.
As the evening wore on visitors were treated to an even better attraction as the full moon rose over the Aerial Lift Bridge.
Saturday morning we headed back down to Bayfront Park to watch the balloon ascensions and to get free static ride in one of the balloons. Unfortunately the wind was too strong and the only thing they could do was to inflate some of the balloons. There were a lot of photographers around to document the event.
On Saturday afternoon a local organization was offering free kites to the kids so Bayfront Park was filled with kids, young and old, flying kites. It was a beautiful warm fall day.
On Saturday evening the balloons were to make yet another attempt to ascend. There was a good crowd on hand to listen to music and watch the balloon ascensions but, once again there was too much wind.
On Sunday morning there was one last attempt to get the balloons aloft but once again it was a beautiful day but too much wind. It’s hard to say if there will be a second balloon festival. It is a beautiful but tough venue for ballooning. The winds have to be relatively calm and have to be out of a specific direction because the balloons can’t go out over the lake or up the hills. Never-the-less it was a fun event to attend. It didn’t hurt that there were over a dozen craft breweries on site offering a taste of their brews.
More photos from the event can be found on my website.
Tim S. Dool
I happened to be in Bayfront Park last weekend when the Tim S. Dool exited the harbor. This was the first time I had seen the Dool in Duluth.
After sailing on the Denis Sullivan on day two of the Tall Ship Festival we decided to see if we could catch a view of the tall ships from one of the special Vista Fleet boat trips. We were able to get seats on a 9:30 am sailing of the Vista Star on the third day of the Tall Ship Festival.
It was another day of grey overcast skies with a hint of rain. As it turned out there were not many people up at 9:30 am so we had most of the upper deck to ourselves. It was a bit cold so most of the folks were inside on the lower decks.
One of the selling points of the Vista Fleet Tour was the ability to see all of the tall ships lined up at the dock. As it turned half of the tall ships were out on the lake sailing.
As we were waiting to get underway the Denis Sullivan and the Privateer Lynx were leaving the dock for a morning sail.
U.S Brig Niagara
The Schooner Hindu followed us under the lift bridge and sailed along with us as we entered Lake Superior.
As I mentioned about half of the ships had left the docks and we could see them in the out in the lake. It would have been great if the Vista Star had followed them out into the lake but it sailed along the shoreline.
As we came back into the harbor we did get some nice shots of the ships that had remained at the docks. We continued sailing down the harbor and under the Blatnick Bridge.
Pride of Baltimore II
When we returned to dock the ships that had been out in the lake were returning to the docks so we were able to get some shots of them docking.
More photos from the Duluth Tall Ships Festival 2013 can be found on my website.