Locals enjoying the Cathedral City Hot Air Balloon Festival

Today was the second day of the Cathedral City Hot Air Balloon Festival and Food Truck Fiesta. There was already a long queue at the Tethered Balloon near the Mary Pickford Theatre.

The Wilson family decided to fly with flying colors during the festival.

“It feels good because I’ve been cramped in my house for two years,” Havanna Wilson said. “I felt like it was going to break under us, like the basket. It was a bit scary but I enjoyed it.”

The hot air balloon ride gave the Wilson family a whole new perspective of the valley.

“I mean the ball was really colorful and really beautiful. It’s just a city view. I liked that,” Wilson said.

Steve Wilkinson owns the hot air balloon, countless families lined up to ride. He runs Fantasy Balloon Flights. Additionally, he has been a full-time hot air balloon pilot for over 40 years.

Steve Wilkinson, hot air balloon pilot and owner of Fantasy Balloon Flights

“Show something beautiful for them to see and just to make them feel good and us feel good,” Wilkinson said. “It makes us feel good.”

Wilkinson said he loves giving people the chance to experience something he’s passionate about. He also shares the hot air balloon business with his son.

“He flies balloons with me. So we do it every day together,” Wilkinson said. “We fly two balloons every morning and every afternoon that we can.” (4:22)

When Wilkinson isn’t flying balloons around the Valley, you can usually find him competing around the world.

“New Zealand, Fiji, Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico. It’s typically my summer because it’s too hot here to fly,” Wilkinson said.

But he said no place in the world could change their love for hot air ballooning in the valley.

“We love it here. It’s our home and so when we can get together, you know, Cathedral City, Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage for a family event, we’re awesome,” Wilkinson said.