But one thing dominated the Saturday session of the 30th Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival: heat.
Yet even with temperatures that hit triple digits throughout the region, thousands turned out to enjoy the day.
“We come here every year,” said Christopher Curtis, 30, of Vista. “This is like my fifth year. It’s a tradition.”
Curtis spoke while sipping on a bacon lemonade he picked up during the hot point of the day, a drink he described as “amazing.” Nearby, his cohorts snacked on butterfly potato chips, a 10-inch stack of fried potatoes smothered in cheese, sauces and, yes, more bacon.
Popularity of bacon aside, wine was the drink of choice throughout the festival, with lines for drink tickets sometimes running 20 deep.
Most visitors wore shorts and light tops, though others sported evening dresses and dress slacks. Still, few braved staying out long in the sun during the afternoon, even with a steady breeze helping cool patrons. Most found areas of shade to sit and relax.
One particularly busy area was the Splash Zone, a kids water park at Lake Skinner that was available to festival-goers. Lisa French of Grover Beach took the opportunity to let her nearly 2-year-old grandson Nolan play in the water fountains.
“We were out early, around 10 a.m., waiting for funnel cakes,” said French, noting she and her family are camping at the three-day event that continues Sunday, June 2. “Now we’re out in it again.”
Evan Moore couldn’t hide from the sun. The Great Oak High School volunteer was in the parking lot, directing cars in the parking lots that were nothing more than dirt and brush. Moore, who has helped for five years, knew it was going to be hot.
“As a baseball coach, you get used to checking the weather,” said the 35-year-old Moore in between waving cars into fields and imploring pedestrians to avoid traffic. “But even if it were 120, I would be out here.”
The Metal Mulisha Demo Team and the Young Dubliners will be the feature entertainment on Sunday.
WHAT: The Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival continues with nearly continuous music.
WHEN: Sunday, June 2
NOON, 3 p.m.: Jimmy Fitzpatrick Presents Metal Mulisha Freestyle Motocross Demo, Main Stage
1 p.m.: Alaina Blair, Wine Stage
2 p.m.: David and Devine, Wine Stage
3:30 p.m.: Young Dubliners, Wine Stage.
DETAILS: Concerts are free.