Stunning Sunday morning launch at Great Falls Balloon Fest

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Three balloons hover over Simard-Payne Memorial Park in the near calm during the 2017 Great Falls Balloon Fest in Lewiston on Sunday.
Three balloons hover over Simard-Payne Memorial Park in the near calm during the 2017 Great Falls Balloon Fest in Lewiston on Sunday.

LEWISTON — No fewer than 17 balloons inflated and lifted off from Simard-Payne Park and surrounding satellite locations in Lewiston and Auburn on Sunday morning in what to this point was the most successful launch of the three-day Great Falls Balloon Fest.

The festivities began with a Friday morning launch and, after Friday night and Saturday morning launches were scrapped due to weather, some — but not all — of the balloons in attendance launched Saturday evening just after 6 p.m.

But on Sunday morning, all 20 balloons scheduled to appear inflated, and 17 lifted off, dotting the sky above Lewiston-Auburn in dabs of color.

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The three specialty balloons — Tom Cat, Terry the Mouse and Pea-Nut the Elephant, inflated but did not lift off.

Those that did hovered close to Simard-Payne Park while they remained lower in the air. But once aloft, the breeze floated most of them over Kennedy Park and downtown Lewiston and across Webster Street. A couple of balloons landed in the parking lot of Farwell School in Lewiston, and others along outer Sabattus Street and various side streets and fields to the East and Northeast of the launch sites.

For more from this weekend’s festival, visit sunjournal.com/balloonfest

For photos from Sunday’s launch, continue to scroll down here.

This story will be updated.

Balloons are framed by the Auburn Riverwalk bridge during the 2017 Great Falls Balloon Fest at Simard-Payne Park in Lewiston on Sunday.
Balloons are framed by the Auburn Riverwalk bridge during the 2017 Great Falls Balloon Fest at Simard-Payne Park in Lewiston on Sunday.
Three special shape balloons are inflated for display during the 2017 Great Falls Balloon Fest at Simard-Payne Park in Lewiston on Sunday. From left are Terry the Mouse, Peanut the Elephant and Tomcat the Cat.
Three special shape balloons are inflated for display during the 2017 Great Falls Balloon Fest at Simard-Payne Park in Lewiston on Sunday. From left are Terry the Mouse, Peanut the Elephant and Tomcat the Cat.
A balloon inflates before launch during the 2017 Great Falls Balloon Fest at Simard-Payne Park in Lewiston on Sunday.
A balloon inflates before launch during the 2017 Great Falls Balloon Fest at Simard-Payne Park in Lewiston on Sunday.
Riders take a selfie as they get set to take off in a balloon Sunday morning at the 2017 Great Falls Balloon Fest at Simard-Payne Park in Lewiston.
Riders take a selfie as they get set to take off in a balloon Sunday morning at the 2017 Great Falls Balloon Fest at Simard-Payne Park in Lewiston.
A balloon launches while being live-streamed to the Sun Journal Facebook feed during the 2017 Great Falls Balloon Fest at Simard-Payne Park in Lewiston on Sunday.
A balloon launches while being live-streamed to the Sun Journal Facebook feed during the 2017 Great Falls Balloon Fest at Simard-Payne Park in Lewiston on Sunday.
Balloons take off from Simard-Payne Park during the 2017 Great Falls Balloon Fest in Lewiston on Sunday.
Balloons take off from Simard-Payne Park during the 2017 Great Falls Balloon Fest in Lewiston on Sunday.
Balloon riders prepare for launch at Simard-Payne Park during the 2017 Great Falls Balloon Fest in Lewiston on Sunday.
Balloon riders prepare for launch at Simard-Payne Park during the 2017 Great Falls Balloon Fest in Lewiston on Sunday.
A balloon prepares to launch during the 2017 Great Falls Balloon Fest at Simard-Payne Park in Lewiston on Sunday morning.
A balloon prepares to launch during the 2017 Great Falls Balloon Fest at Simard-Payne Park in Lewiston on Sunday morning.
A balloon takes off during the 2017 Great Falls Balloon Fest at Simard-Payne Park in Lewiston on Sunday.
A balloon takes off during the 2017 Great Falls Balloon Fest at Simard-Payne Park in Lewiston on Sunday.
Balloons float overhead during the 2017 Great Falls Balloon Fest at Simard-Payne Park in Lewiston on Sunday.
Balloons float overhead during the 2017 Great Falls Balloon Fest at Simard-Payne Park in Lewiston on Sunday.
The eyes of Peanut the Elephant watch over the crowd as the balloon inflates during the 2017 Great Falls Balloon Fest at Simard-Payne Park in Lewiston on Sunday.
The eyes of Peanut the Elephant watch over the crowd as the balloon inflates during the 2017 Great Falls Balloon Fest at Simard-Payne Park in Lewiston on Sunday.
Tony Augello of Turner gets a photo of a balloon. Augello was attending his 23rd balloon festival. “I only missed two — the first one and another when I went to Alaska.”
Tony Augello of Turner gets a photo of a balloon. Augello was attending his 23rd balloon festival. “I only missed two — the first one and another when I went to Alaska.”
The first balloons of the morning lift off during the 2017 Great Falls Balloon Fest at Simard-Payne Park in Lewiston on Sunday.
The first balloons of the morning lift off during the 2017 Great Falls Balloon Fest at Simard-Payne Park in Lewiston on Sunday.
Three balloons are seen through the trees of the Auburn Riverwalk during the 2017 Great Falls Balloon Fest at Simard-Payne Park in Lewiston on Sunday.
Three balloons are seen through the trees of the Auburn Riverwalk during the 2017 Great Falls Balloon Fest at Simard-Payne Park in Lewiston on Sunday.
The Remax balloon hovers over Kennedy Park during the 2017 Great Falls Balloon Fest in Lewiston on Sunday.
The Remax balloon hovers over Kennedy Park during the 2017 Great Falls Balloon Fest in Lewiston on Sunday.
Spectators watch the morning’s launch of the 2017 Great Falls Balloon Fest along the Riverwalk in Auburn on Sunday morning.
Spectators watch the morning’s launch of the 2017 Great Falls Balloon Fest along the Riverwalk in Auburn on Sunday morning.
Rodney Holmes, of Lewiston, records balloons in the morning sun. Holmes, originally from Philadelphia, was posting the video on Facebook for family and friends to see.
Rodney Holmes, of Lewiston, records balloons in the morning sun. Holmes, originally from Philadelphia, was posting the video on Facebook for family and friends to see.
A balloon moves by the spires of The Basilica of Saints Paul and Peter in Lewiston on Sunday during the 2017 Great Falls Balloon Fest.
A balloon moves by the spires of The Basilica of Saints Paul and Peter in Lewiston on Sunday during the 2017 Great Falls Balloon Fest.
Pilot Jason Boucher of Chester, New Hampshire, gives the thumbs up after liftoff during the 2017 Great Falls Balloon Fest at Simard-Payne Park in Lewiston on Sunday.
Pilot Jason Boucher of Chester, New Hampshire, gives the thumbs up after liftoff during the 2017 Great Falls Balloon Fest at Simard-Payne Park in Lewiston on Sunday.
Ada Leland of Bridgton plays in the fabric of Jim Rodrigue’s balloon as it inflates during the 2017 Great Falls Balloon Fest at Simard-Payne Park in Lewiston on Sunday.
Ada Leland of Bridgton plays in the fabric of Jim Rodrigue’s balloon as it inflates during the 2017 Great Falls Balloon Fest at Simard-Payne Park in Lewiston on Sunday.
Lulu Ruane of Bridgton plays in the fabric of Jim Rodrigue’s balloon as it inflates during the 2017 Great Falls Balloon Fest at Simard-Payne Park in Lewiston on Sunday.
Lulu Ruane of Bridgton plays in the fabric of Jim Rodrigue’s balloon as it inflates during the 2017 Great Falls Balloon Fest at Simard-Payne Park in Lewiston on Sunday.
Appropriately dressed Journey Ruane plays in the fabric of Jim Rodrigue’s balloon as it inflates during the 2017 Great Falls Balloon Fest at Simard-Payne Park in Lewiston on Sunday.
Appropriately dressed Journey Ruane plays in the fabric of Jim Rodrigue’s balloon as it inflates during the 2017 Great Falls Balloon Fest at Simard-Payne Park in Lewiston on Sunday.
Charlotte and Parker Nagy play in the shadow of an inflating balloon as their mother Danielle tries to get their attention for a photo during the 2017 Great Falls Balloon Fest at Simard-Payne Park in Lewiston on Sunday.
Charlotte and Parker Nagy play in the shadow of an inflating balloon as their mother Danielle tries to get their attention for a photo during the 2017 Great Falls Balloon Fest at Simard-Payne Park in Lewiston on Sunday.
Pilot Jim Rodrigue gives last-minute instructions to his passengers in preparation for liftoff during the 2017 Great Falls Balloon Fest at Simard-Payne Park in Lewiston on Sunday.
Pilot Jim Rodrigue gives last-minute instructions to his passengers in preparation for liftoff during the 2017 Great Falls Balloon Fest at Simard-Payne Park in Lewiston on Sunday.
The Peanut the Elephant balloon hovers behind the Tomcat the Cat balloon as both are inflated during the 2017 Great Falls Balloon Fest at Simard-Payne Park in Lewiston on Sunday.
The Peanut the Elephant balloon hovers behind the Tomcat the Cat balloon as both are inflated during the 2017 Great Falls Balloon Fest at Simard-Payne Park in Lewiston on Sunday.

A balloon is framed between the spires of The Basilica of Saints Paul and Peter in Lewiston on Sunay during a launch at the 2017 Great Falls Balloon Fest.
A balloon is framed between the spires of The Basilica of Saints Paul and Peter in Lewiston on Sunay during a launch at the 2017 Great Falls Balloon Fest.

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The Sun Journal is covering the Great Falls Balloon Festival with:

Jason Boucher of Chester, New Hampshire shouts instructions to his crew during the 2017 Great Falls Balloon Fest at Simard-Payne Park in Lewiston on Sunday.
Jason Boucher of Chester, New Hampshire shouts instructions to his crew during the 2017 Great Falls Balloon Fest at Simard-Payne Park in Lewiston on Sunday.

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