Sunrise and balloons are a magical combination. The air is cool and there is little wind. The flame is bright as the hot air fills the balloons. They fill and lift off, gracefully heading up and away from the fairground. One by one they fill the valley, some gently colliding as they dance overhead. At one point an hour in, more than 20 baskets had taken off and were hanging suspended above. Pirates, smokey bear, the international peace, and the Temecula Valley “it’s a grape day” balloons were all in attendance. Each year the show is slightly different, but equally as breathtaking. Then, as quick as they went up, there were gone. The second phase of the festival begins as vendors arrive and the smell of BBQ wafts over the valley. There was wine to be tasted and music to be heard, but the star of the festival is definitely the balloons.