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Great Forest Park Balloon Race & Glow

September 17, 1:00 pm TO 5:30 pm
|Recurring Event (See all)
| Forest Park Central Field | Free

The Great Forest Park Balloon Race, presented by PNC Bank, is the one of the longest running hot air balloon races in the country, and the only one that takes place in a large metropolitan city. The tradition began in 1973 with a handful of hot air balloons and a few spectators. Now an internationally renowned event, The Great Forest Park Balloon Race welcomes more than 60 of the nation’s best hot air balloon pilots and thousands of spectators annually.
The Glow – Friday, September 16
The balloons “glow” like huge fireflies, a truly magical scene, and one not to be missed! The more than 50 hot air balloons inflate and tether in assigned spaces on the launch field. At the Glow, the balloons do not launch but for a portion of the evening (weather permitting) the rope line will be released, and spectators will be invited to walk around to enjoy the view and chat with pilots and crew.
The Race – Saturday, September 17
The Great Forest Park Balloon Race presented by PNC Bank is a Hare and Hound-style race. The PNC Bank hot air balloon named “Bank on It” is the “Hare” and leads the pack, getting a head start at launch time and landing first. The other balloons, called “Hounds” launch in waves shortly after in pursuit of the “Hare” balloon. Once the Hare balloon lands, the pilot and crew lay an “X” out on the ground as a target. The pilot who drops their birdseed/bean bag nearest the center of the target is the winner!

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