Part 2 of 2: Balloons blow up, float away and then what -- The rest of the story

Photos by Kyle Quick

Picture above the top five winners from left to right: Ellen Zobrist, Kent Schroder, Ken Jay, Janet Sines, John Essermann, and Joe Nusrala.

It’s an annual tradition after the race for the pilots, passengers, and co-sponsors of the race to gather at Robller Vineyard & Winery for a wonderful meal and announcement of the year’s winners.  It is also a time for those who rode in a balloon to share their experiences and stories with others.  One passenger told us, they kind of felt like a celebrity, everyone asking how their ride was and the ever so popular question “what did you think of it”.

Picture from left to right: Greg Hanson congratulates Joe Nusrala.

Winners were announced, with the top five receiving prize money.  In fifth place sponsored by Warren Bauche was Kent Schroder, fourth place went to Ken Jay who was sponsored by Re/Max Today, coming in third place with a 76 foot drop was Janet Sines sponsored by New Haven Chamber of Commerce, in second place with a drop of 62 feet, John Essermann, and winner of the 22nd Annual Hot Air Balloon Race Joe Nusrala, dropping his beanbag only 17 feet from the target.

We spoke with Ellen Zobrist this morning and she wanted to personally thank Greg Hanson, who takes care of getting all the pilots, checking weather conditions, and communicating with the FAA.  Without him, Zobrist said, “This race would never be possible".

We hope you have enjoyed our coverage of this year's balloon race and know that New Haven has a news source they can count on to do their very best keeping you informed and telling the rest of the story.

Picture from left to right: Joe Nusral (Winner) and Ryan HoerstkampPhoto below: The Wehrenberg Theater's Popcorn Balloon