Duck Soup

Balluminaria - Balloon Glow in Eden Park, Cincinnati

For 2011, Balluminaria took place on November 19th, from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in Eden Park, Cincinnati. There were carolers, hot chocolate, and roasted almonds. It's always important to get there early so you don't have to walk too far. Dress warmly. It gets brrr cold by the water.

Balluminaria is an event that takes place periodically in Eden Park in Cincinnati, Ohio. The event is a 'balloon glow' in which owners of hot-air balloons inflate them at night because the flames make for such an eerie and beautiful effect. It's quite extraordinary to behold as one hot-air balloon after the other ignites its burner and, finally, all of them light up at once.

Part of what makes Balluminaria so spectacular at Eden Park is that the balloons are staged around the edge of the reservoir. As the balloons light their fires and begin glowing, all those colors reflect out across the water and it's gloriously beautiful to watch.

I hope you enjoy these photographs. It was extremely cold that night and I couldn't operate the camera while wearing gloves. My hands didn't warm back up until after I got home and that was a forty-five minute drive! Even though it was cold, Balluminaria is a spectacular thing to behold and it's always tremendous fun, particularly for photographers.

The Warm-Up

At first, only one or two hot-air balloons lit up at any given time. The combinations were random as each balloonist checked out the hardware prior to the final demonstration.

The burners in the balloons make a startlingly-loud roar. It only lasts for a few seconds but you will probably jump a little bit when you get up close.


The hot-air balloonist chats with a young lady, both seemingly oblivious to the inferno above their heads.

So if you're thinking that these guys do it to meet girls, yes, that does appear to be the case.

Balloon Glow

Finally, all of the hot-air balloons light at once.

Despite the cold, it was worth the wait.

The brilliant colors of the balloons in combination with the reflections in the water of the reservoir resulted in an incredibly beautiful vision.

Time-Lapse Video of Balluminaria 2009

This is a charming piece of work set to the music of Trans-Siberian Orchestra and it shows the set-up for Balluminaria all the way through until all balloons are glowing in the dark. You can learn more about the author, chrisirmo, on YouTube.

(Everything on My Duck Soup is original unless specifically noted otherwise.)

This is also the time of year for the Christmas Display at the Krohn Conservatory. My Duck Soup has pictorials and you may enjoy them as well. Thanks for visiting.