Even though points and the winner don’t matter, there are rules to the Great Forest Park Balloon Race. I believe they involve something about the other balloons chasing the Energizer Bunny balloon. It’s a bunny chase, like greyhound races but with less cruelty and gambling.
In any case, the Bunny is the star, and by my estimation the largest balloon of the lot.
While I didn’t catch the rabbit in all its glory, during the glow before the race, I did get a photo of it as it resigned itself to cool air and collapse.
The second picture was taken near the same time of the evening. Most pilots weren’t flaming their balloons anymore and balloons fell as they cooled. I didn’t see it happen, but I’m not convinced spectators weren’t blanketed by collapsing balloons. I’m sure most photographers had given up on getting a good-glow photo by this point but I like this one. It’s cold and somewhat menacing. Cold and somewhat menacing balloons.