BACK STAGE AT PEPPERMINT IGUANA HQ: Gigs, Festivals, Parties, CDs, Books, Protests, travels, photography and Cardiff City FC

Sunday, August 27, 2006

BIG BALLONS: A local festival for local people

The UNISON Baloon inflates so you can see what it looks like, but is prevented from launching by wind.
This weekend saw the ‘Big Ballon’ festival land in Cefn Fforest. Part of me would like to say it is crap, but the thought of something like this happening in the village in which I was born and bred prevents me from being so critical, so I will just say it is … naff. But it is quite interesting, for a while.

What is a balloon festival? … well it is a festival of balloons, but only if the weather is right. Half a dozen air balloons or so get together and at some point in the day, they might actually go up, but only if there is a light breeze. A strong breeze, or an actual wind, will prevent them going up; as will, strangely, no wind at all! I have been up there three years on the trot now, even going up at 6am to catch a dawn flight, but have not yet seen them flying.

So, given that the balloons might not go up and if they do it will be all over in half an hour, there has to be something else to keep people occupied. Hence, the craft market, the funfair, the pets’ corner, the classic car show and the various clowns, acrobats and sheep dogs that are also on display throughout the day. Oh, nearly forgot, the stage with the live bands on, like the ‘Shaking Stevens Tribute band’ (you can see why I nearly forgot!).

It is nothing though, if not a family day out, and in fairness there was lots there to keep Tara Iguana entertained.

The highlight though, is the ‘Balloon Glow’, which this year was brought to us by the wonderful sponsors UNISON. Basically, as the sun goes down, they pump up a few balloons, light them up, pump out some cheesy music and set fireworks off in the background. I seem to remember being very impressed last year so made an effort to catch it again tonight. For some reason this year it did not grab me the way I remember it did last, maybe it is a case of, once you have seen one balloon night glow, you have seen them all. This might explain why the crowd was a lot thinner than the 10,000 last year.

When I was a kid I used to dream of a big event that involved live bands on the Show Field. Now we got one I should not really complain, even if it is naff.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home