Up, up and maybe another day: hot air balloons did not take off Friday

UK Housing’s Up, Up, and UK event was held at the Johnson Center Fields on Friday, April 6, 2018, in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Arden Barnes | Staff

Korrie Harris

UK Housing hosted Up, Up and UK on Friday night which featured inflatables, a country performer and a hot air balloon that never made it off the ground.

Throughout the week, many students looked forward to the rare opportunity to fly high in a hot air balloon.

“We tried to come up with cool and unique ideas that students might enjoy, and we thought that hot air balloons were certainly something different and we gave it a try,” said Michael Danahy, assistant director of marketing and communications for EdR Collegiate Housing.

Due to the 10 mph winds, the hot air balloon remained deflated in order to ensure students safety from a possible accident caused by the unfortunate weather.

One of the most popular inflatables was bull-riding. The attraction kept a long line of eager students throughout the evening. Participants got on a mechanical bull and held on to see how long they could endure the erratic spinning. Another popular attraction was the bungee trampoline. In order to participate, students had to strap themselves into a harness attached to extended bungee cords. After that, they were able to use the trampolines to jump over 15 feet and flip around in the air.

Aside from the inflatables, the featured attraction of the night, the hot air balloon, had the longest line of students. Students began to line up when the balloon was rolled out onto the field. However, the wind prevented the crew from inflating the balloon. At one point when the wind died down, the crew attempted to start the attraction, but the wind picked up again to the disappoint of the crew and the awaiting students.

“I’m really upset. This was the reason why I came,” said freshman Sophia Zheng. She was waiting in line for the balloon to go up before she received the news of the hot air balloon ride being cancelled. Many students were waiting in line for two hours before the balloon rides were officially called off.

Many students were looking forward to the hot air balloon ride, but there were also many students that had a positive outlook regardless.

“I’ve met more people which has been really cool,” Justin Bolin, a freshman, said. “I’ve also seen people that I don’t usually see during the week.”

Up, Up and UK did not lack musical entertainment either. Country singer and UK student Walker Montgomery took the stage to perform his single “Simple Town” and covered a mix of other musical hits.

Montgomery is the son of country star and Kentucky native John Michael Montgomery. Students enjoyed the vibe Walker’s music brought to the event.

“It’s nice and mellow to go with the event,” Cady Barbour, a sophomore, said. “He’s got really nice vocals.”

The event also had concessions, free t-shirts and a variety of other inflatables. Such as, slides, an obstacle course and a boxing ring. Despite the technical difficulties, the event was still successful to some.

“I think a lot of people are enjoying the inflatables, the music and everything. So, at the end of the day I’m still satisfied with how the event turned out,” Danahy said.

When asked if UK Housing would attempt another hot air balloon event, Danahy seemed hopeful.

“We might, you know, look at the calendar and see if it fits in somewhere else,” Danahy said.