by Anayeli Ruiz
Hot air balloons filled the West Texas skies on Saturday morning as the 24th Annual Big Ben Balloon Bash got underway in Alpine.
"We schedule this time a year because the wind will normally cooperate with us, the reason you feel no wind right now is because you are going with the wind," Hot Air Balloon Pilot, Philip Bryant, said.
Bryant is one of the many pilots that travels a long way to get up in the West Texas skies.
"Why do I come out here? Look around. It's scenery, it's the social events, it's the friends and the people are great," Bryant said.
Thousands of spectators come from all over to see the skies fill up with color.
All of the hotels in Alpine and surrounding areas were packed and had no extra rooms.
"This (Saturday) morning, we had several people from the Odessa-Midland area who couldn't get a room. So this (Saturday) morning they got up at 4 or 5 in the morning to get here for the balloon launch," Big Bend Balloon Bash President, Kenneth Clouse, said.
No matter a person's age, everyone enjoys watching the balloons launch into the sky.
"It's geared for anybody, small kids. We even had the Alpine Nursing Home bring a van of people this (Saturday) morning to take part in the festivities," Clouse said.