He may be a Pegleg, but don't expect to see Pete hopping along on
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[August 22, 2013]
He may be a Pegleg, but don't
expect to see Pete hopping along on the sidelines
This year the special-shape balloon sponsored by the city of Lincoln
is going to have a familiar face in the basket. Dave Reineke of
Mahomet has been attending the Lincoln Art & Balloon Festival since
This year, Dave and wife Kathy, who is also a pilot and
flies the well-known Sunsational, will be introducing their
brand-new balloon, Pegleg Pete, to the festival.
Pete is a new balloon for the couple this year, and they are
excited to be coming to Lincoln to share him with everyone here.
Reineke said that while Pete isn't an original design, he is
still extremely special. Pete was the creation of an artist in
Brazil and was actually built in St. Paul, Brazil, for the Reinekes.
Like several balloonists, piloting and crewing the balloon is a
family affair. Reineke said that at the Lincoln festival it becomes
somewhat of a family reunion, as his two grown daughters who live
away from home travel to Lincoln to join their parents in the
weekend of festivities.
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Reineke said that Pete, while intricately designed, is not a
whole lot larger than regular balloons, so don't expect to see him
hopping along the sidelines. Reineke said, weather permitting, of
course, Pete will be airborne on both evening flights and is
scheduled to glow one night.
In addition, Reineke and Pete plan to compete in the Saturday
morning target toss. Reineke said he feels like he's fairly good at
tossing the bag to the target, but for him, it really isn't the best
part of the festival. "I'm a P.T. Barnum-type guy," Reineke said. "I
enjoy the show!"
The Reinekes do take in several ballooning events each year. As a
matter of fact, they were on their way home from an event in St.
John's, Canada, when LDN caught up with them on the phone.
Reineke began flying in 1990 and wife Kathy took it up soon
after. He said they enjoy coming to Lincoln each year. They like the
size of the festival and the opportunity to spend time with other
[By NILA SMITH]