Hot air balloons take to the sky in Waterford

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WATERFORD -- Above the trees, high in the sky, hot air balloons float with the clouds.

"There's nothing like it," hot air balloon pilot Kevin Schmoldt said.  "You can hear everything, you can see everything."

That's why he's hooked.

"It's my hobby, it's my passion, It's nice to get friends and family involved.  It's what I enjoy doing," he said.

Schmoldt's been flying since he was 16-years-old.  He's happy to share that passion with thousands of other people at the festival.

"This festival is fantastic," he said. "The scale, the reception from the community is fantastic."

25,000 people will pass through the festival over the weekend and watch the more than 20 balloons fly across the Racine County sky.

"They're so colorful, they're beautiful, the people, the pilots and their crew are very friendly," festival participant Sue Tomko said.

She and her niece came from Chicago to watch the hot air balloons.

"I've never seen anything like it," her niece Danielle Tomko said.

The balloons launch at dawn and again during the night.  The festival continues through Sunday.