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What followed was an enthralling experience for the 10,000 people who attended the Hororata Glow Festival.
With the balloons burning in time to music, it was a symphony of light, colour and sound.
Then as most of the balloons slowly deflated, lasers took over the night sky.
The festival also featured a live band and activities, such as walking inside a hot air balloon, Canterbury University science demonstrations, an inflatable movie theatre, a fairy tree, UV art, a warm-up cube and a massive fairground.
Hororata Community Trust executive officer Cindy Driscoll said organisers were grateful to Ballooning Canterbury and the balloonists who travelled from around New Zealand to fly over the Hororata skies leading up to the festival.
"We wanted to create a festival which made people ‘glow’ and we succeeded. We have something special in Hororata."
Ballooning Canterbury chief pilot Michael Oakley said it was an amazing festival and week of flying.
"We are grateful to all the farmers who have happily had us land on their farms," he said.
"(The festival) is such a huge team effort and we are really proud of the performance we put on for the massive crowd."