John Patriquin/Staff Photographer

Twenty balloons took off from Lewiston’s Simard-Payne Memorial Park on Friday morning to kick off the 21st Annual Great Falls Balloon Festival. The annual festival runs through Sunday.

John Patriquin/Staff Photographer

Katie Witham, 19, of Augusta, and her cousin, 10-year-old Adriana Ellis, of Farmingdale, take photos as the balloons first take off. Balloons are scheduled to launch at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. throughout the weekend festival.

John Patriquin/Staff Photographer

Joe Caputo from Pittston readies his balloon on Friday morning in Lewiston’s Simard-Payne Memorial Park. For the festival website, click here.

John Patriquin/Staff Photographer

All smiles aboard the Firefly as 20 balloons took off from Lewiston’s Simard-Payne Memorial Park.

John Patriquin/Staff Photographer

A large penguin was among the first of the 20 balloons to take off.

John Patriquin/Staff Photographer

Pilot Jason Boucher regulates his burner as he prepares to take off.

John Patriquin/Staff Photographer

One balloon was appropriately lobster-themed.

John Patriquin/Staff Photographer

Pilot Joe Caputo does a last-minute check inside the envelope before he takes off at the festival’s outset.