Up, up and away - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Up, up and away

WAUSAU (WAOW)--  3, 2, 1...launch!  It was a high in the sky adventure for balloon teams on Saturday at the Wausau Balloon Rally and Rib Fest.

Early risers came by the dozens, all the witness the take-off.  But, high wind gusts kept some balloons from even leaving the ground.

Balloon Meister, Steve Woller explained, "It's all based on wind. There is no steering--where the wind goes, the balloon goes."

But some saw the weather as a breath of fresh air.  Rita Stenstrom has been taking her family to the balloon rally for years.

"It gives kids and adults both a chance to see something they wouldn't normally see. I'm glad they come to this area to do this," she says.

And for most people, it was a day to be amazed.

"It's fantastic," Pat Schaefer said. "Just to see the work that goes into it, how they are inflated, they need so many people it's amazing."

But all eyes were on Wally. A custom made fish balloon, and a crowd favorite commonly known as "Nemo". But the winds were against them, and Wally never left the ground.  Something frustrating for Woller and his team.

"It's a lot of work. You get up at 4 a.m. and then to not be able to fly you get kind of bummed.  But, it's all apart of ballooning," he says.

And all that work wasn't for nothing.  About ten balloons launched today, giving the crowd something to cheer about.

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