What's on Tap

What's on Tap

Balloon Fest neighbors wake up to a large surprise

Posted May 29

— Some residents got a huge surprise on Monday when a hot air balloon from the WRAL Freedom Balloon Festival glided right over their homes.

For the families in the Amber Ridge subdivision, the view was the perfect day to celebrate Memorial Day.

"It was like something out of the movies," one resident said. "I woke up in my pajamas and looked outside and said, 'Oh my God. It's the balloon fest outside of my house!'"

The neighborhood, which borders Fleming Loop Recreational Park, ran parallel to a majestic skyline filled with stunning balloons, providing breathtaking views from yards and windows.

But, much to their surprise, some residents were about to have an even closer view.

As pilot Randy Lee skillfully skimmed the community's tree tops and houses, dozens of people greeted him with welcoming cheers.

"I woke up the children," said a neighbor. "I was like, 'Come on y'all, get up, get up, get up,' and we put our clothes on and ran outside and came and joined in the fun."

It was a moment in time, an impromptu Memorial Day gathering, and parents said they were most grateful for an opportunity to explain to their kids the importance of the day.

"To be able to be a part of this and have my children be a part of this and really tell them why," they said. "To honor and remember all the soldiers who are risking their lives to save our lives. To be able to celebrate them on days like this is powerful."

And it's days like this that these kids will certainly never forget.


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