Weekly Photo Challenge: Unique


Up, up, and away!  These are night views of The Orange County Great Park Balloon, located in Irvine, California, and touted as “the first tethered helium balloon in the United States” by The Great Park Corporation. The balloon, featured as the park’s main attraction “stands 118 feet tall and can hold up to 30 passengers within its 1,810 pound gondola.” Park planners pride themselves on incorporating sustainability within the Great Park schema, so the balloon is “environmentally safe, non-polluting, and virtually silent” as well.


Visitors can fly gratis to heights of up to 400 feet and enjoy scenic vistas of the 1,347 acre park and surrounding Orange County. By way of comparison, New York’s iconic Central Park encompasses 843 acres. If you look down, you’ll notice the balloon is secured to the ground by “a steel cable with the strength of 99,000 pounds” and never actually leaves park confines for open skies. Perhaps, yet another reason that Irvine’s been named “America’s Safest Big City” by the FBI for eight consecutive years.


BTW, if you or your companions aren’t cool with heights, there’s a free carousel you can ride near the balloon. For more information about this UNIQUE helium balloon, the merry-go-round and The Great Park, Visit: http://www.ocgp.org/visit/info/.

Photos in this article courtesy of William Lesko.


2 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Unique

  1. Barbara Cheng

    Wow! Great job! Thank you for sharing Judy.

    Good article about the Irvine Great Parkballon. Did you take the pictures too? They are beautiful! 🙂



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