Up, Up, and Away! Pirates of the Canyon kicks off

It's time to go up, up and away, because the "Pirates of the Canyon" Hot Air Balloon Festival is officially underway. As you know, it's one of our area's most well-known festivals.

The weekend festival kicked off bright and early at 7:00 a.m. Friday morning. A lot goes into getting these hot air balloons off the ground. From weather reports, to unpacking. Taking Pronews 7's Lindsey Stiner up for the first flight, the crew from Farmers Insurance, its pilot has 22-years flying experience.

"You get to meet a lot of different people, you get to take people for their first ride and they always talk about the rest of their life, so you never know what kind of impact you can make on somebody's life," said Tim Basey, Farmers Insurance Hot Air Balloon Pilot.

After a quick briefing, weather conditions were just right for a perfect flight out of the bottom of the Palo Duro Canyon, soaring high above and taking the amazing view. Basey said he enjoys traveling around the world doing what he loves.

"I've traveled in Canada, Europe, New Mexico, and all over the nation."It's a mobile billboard and we get to go all over the country and prompt Farmers at different community events and support local communities we sell insurance to," said Basey.

The Pirates of the Canyon is an annual tradition, bringing in balloonists from around the nation, giving you a chance to see what a hot air balloon is all about.

"It's unique because they don't always get to get real close to them they might see them off the road and landed somewhere but they don't get to go right up and touch the basket and talk to the pilot so that's kind of unique for the balloon glows".

A unique experience that draws out big crowds every year to John Stiff Park on Saturday and Palo Duro Canyon Sunday.

For a schedule of events