Artizen Magazine

Artizen 2-7

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Page 30 of 47

by Cindy Marks you want to delve into and discover t air ballooning the the United States, u don't want to miss visiting the city of iantsThe atesville, North Carolina. Their upcoming rolina Balloon Fest offers a unique ance to not only enjoy the spectacle and auty of the balloons, but also get into e history behind the sport. The festival the 2nd oldest in the country and the ea is home to Firefly Balloons, one of US manufacturers of hot air balloons. atesville was one of the first areas in the S to draw enthusiasts and the festival has own over the years into a true mecca r the serious sports balloonist as well as wbie onlookers. Balloons of Tracy Barnes ne of the most prominent figures in this local history is Tracy Barnes, founder of The Balloon Works day Firefly Balloons), which he began in 1972 and where he remained as acting president up until sold the company in 1982. The Carolina Balloon Fest got its beginnings as a homecoming and ebration for Tracy's balloon pilot friends and their admirers. While balloons are awe-inspiringly autiful and his were no exception, Tracy Barnes also brought to the aesthetics an attention to detail d a scientific mind that would change hot air ballooning for years to come. cording to the National Balloon Museum's Hall of Fame, Barnes built his first balloon out of used rachute fabric in 1961, around a year aſter Ed Yost is credited with creating the very first modern hot balloon. Previously, Barnes had served in the Army's 101st Airborne Division as a weather balloon hnician and aſter being discharged, had worked in the Department of Physics at the University of nnesota as a technician for the Balloon Project Division. So he had his science down well. llooning really started in the US in the 1960's as a tool for the government to measure the effects altitude. Today, manufacturers use almost the exact same same structure as in these historical 31

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