The evening event started about 6:30 PM with four balloons taking off from the launch area. Again, the competitors launched from a few miles away in a different direction, relying on the changing wind (and the skills of the pilot) to guide them to the event area where the pilots were to throw a streamer on to a big X on the ground and try to snatch one of several helium-filled birthday party balloons tethered around the big X on the ground. Because of the wind currents at different altitudes the hot air balloons were all over the place this time, with several missing their mark. Most of the balloons then landed in the event area to prepare for the grand finale of the evening - the "Nite Glow" - when it got dark. On a signal from the announcer and a chant from the crowd all of the pilots would light their burners at the same time in their already inflated balloons to light up all of the balloons at once. Quite a sight to see.
Click to see many more images of the National Balloon Classic
Also see the time-lapse video below.