Admittedly, early morning isn’t generally our speed, however, for those in the ballooning industry, 6 a.m. is a late start. For the 45th time, the Adirondack Balloon Festival touched down and took off, awing a diverse crowd of both newcomers and those who have been attending the Warren County spectacle since the early 70s.

Roughly 150,000 people traveled from all corners of the US and Canada for the four days of colorful quirkiness. It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly why it’s just so damn cool, maybe it’s the 100 balloons simultaneously launching into the crisp dawn, or maybe it’s the all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast. Needless to say, we took one for the team, lost some sleep, and headed out to the airfield to capture a little piece of the magic. See you next year!

Photos provided by our friend and frequent Explore Saratoga photographer, Shawn LaChapelle. You can follow / reach him on Instagram at @shawn3sean. Images should not be copied or used in any way without his authorization.