Jamesville Balloonfest rolls on today for its last day after a long, wet (and muddy) weekend. Saturday saw a plethora of sun then rain then light rain then sun and finally fog after dark. After some running around, my wife and I finally made it to the festival and were a bit more than surprised by the smaller crowds this year. Was it the weather? Probably had something to do with it. Was it the small army of various police vehicles seemingly at every crossroad or hidden in spots here and there or the group of 5-10 (depending on when you looked) sheriffs vehicles gathered together right in the small village? I know for sure that scared people away from talking to a lot of different people. No one likes feeling caged in and threatened and sorry authorities, you overdid it again. Was it the $10 entrance fee? I talked to a few people that complained about that. I told them not everything is free like the city puts on and its their loss. Go do your job for nothing for a week if everything should be free, right?
Anyway, as we made our way through and around the muck that was covered by hay we finally, after a 78 mile walk, made it to the stage. Under The Gun was up and nailing it. The band puts on a good show, plays all the party hits you want to hear from a variety of groups and had the people there bouncing, dancing, and bumping into you. ‘Oh man, I’m sorry. Don’t mind me, I’m just drunk’ he said. ‘No worries, but then again there is 30 feet of open space all around us, go find it’ said I. No matter, it was comical. UTG jammed along seamlessly and flawlessly ending with some wicked covers of AC/DC before releasing the stage to the hounds for Starship featuring Mickey Thomas. I spoke with a very sweaty and numb Lee Anderson afterward and he told me how he dedicated a song to our friend Robby who passed away last year and we had both played with before, and also You Really Got Me to me. I was blasting that solo years ago Van Halen style so I appreciate that Lee!
Mickey Thomas, all these years later sounded really no different than he did 25-30 years ago and the band was sharp. While we had enough of the mud and made our way back over the Adirondacks to the parking lot miles away, I was smiling away listening and thinking about visiting with some friends, talking to some others, and getting that hug from Lee’s boss Amy (his wife). Several people told me how Yankee Rebel kicked butt onstage and I was bummed we couldn’t get there in time but I will soon. If you are on Facebook, look for Jack O Bochino’s fantastic pics of the entire festival.
Get there today!