Just a few more sleeps until the Canberra Balloon Spectacular lifts off and one of the stalwarts of the festival will be looking a little different this year.
The original Capital Chemist balloon - owned by Capital Chemist pharmacist and partner Amanda Galbraith - is being retired after 16 years of floating through the skies.
A brand new Capital Chemist balloon will be unveiled when this year's Canberra Balloon Spectacular starts on Saturday.
Amanda has also been a balloon pilot for almost 30 years. When she was young, her mother worked for an employer who owned a balloon. Her father Danny got hooked on the pursuit and became a balloon pilot. Once she turned 16, Amanda followed suit, and for a short time, she was the youngest balloon pilot in Australia.
When she and other Capital Chemist partners bought their own hot air balloon, they decided they may as well put the Capital Chemist logo on it, and the balloon has become a familiar sight in Canberra's sky ever since.
"We believe it's the only pharmacy-sponsored hot air balloon in the world," Amanda said.
The new balloon still has the Capital Chemist corporate colours of blue and white, but the design and lettering has changed. It was made by Kavanagh Balloons in Sydney.
At the Canberra Balloon Spectacular, the balloon is usually piloted by Amanda's father Danny or brother Justin.
"The most well-known thing about the Capital Chemist balloon is how much we like to sail on the lake. We call it splash and dash," Amanda said.
One of the most thrilling examples of the "splash and dash" was at the 2018 spectacular when Justin skimmed the surface of the lake and was surrounded by kayakers and stand-up paddle boarders, the image captured by Paul "The Kayak Cameraman" Jurak.
Justin says he prefers to call the procedure the "alight and float".
"It is tough. It's a real finesse thing. If you get it wrong, you're wet up to your crutch. It's my party trick - to get on the water very, very nicely and stay there," Justin said at the time.
The balloons launch each morning from Patrick White Lawns, near the National Library, March 12 to 20. Balloon inflation is from 6.15am and launch around 7am, weather permitting.
Announcements about whether the balloons are flying or not will be made each day by 6.15am on enlightencanberra.com and via the Enlighten Festival and EventsACT social channels.
The Capital Chemist balloon will be inflating close to this year's feature balloon, Tico the Sloth
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