Chasing Balloons

Did we ever tell you about that time that we chased all of the balloons?

Ok, well maybe not ALL of them, but we definitely chased a few. Our great balloon chase was based on our theory that every Hamiltonian kid secretly wants to know where the balloons fly to once they disappear from the line of sight (and even if they don’t, we’ve always wanted to know!).

Our sneaky chase took us all over town, but what we saw was definitely worth the miles:

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Watching the balloons also reminded us of what great seasons we have in Hamilton. We’re not talking about the boring summer/winter/autumn type seasons but seasons like Graduation, Summer Festivals, Fieldays, and the December mass-homecoming -the kinds of seasons where one day you wake up and everything around the city has magically changed. Either people are all suddenly wearing graduation caps or balloons have seemingly materialised out of nowhere.

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These seasons are like crop circles – suddenly appearing one moment – and seemingly like most normal thing – but less amenable to being turned into a terrible film directed by M. Night Shyamalan.

It’s unlike anything you really get anywhere else in New Zealand. Sure there are provincial towns that momentarily transform for one or two festivals, but there are generally only one or two of these sorts of events that affect them. On the other end of the scale – in the larger centres – the majority of residents remain relatively unaffected by special events and festivals that come their way, with celebrations around them confined to a small specific group of people.

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The fact that so many of these events are celebrated, talked about, and transformative of the city – is a testament to our interconnectedness as a community. But more than that, it is a testament to Hamilton’s propensity towards risk-taking, and not being afraid of going a little nuts for a little bit.

After all, even if we make complete fools of ourselves as we go crazy chasing balloons – or take embarrassing pictures of somebody else’s kid at graduation –  the embarrassment will only last for a season.

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