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SHREVEPORT, La. - Dozens of the best balloon pilots in the country are calling the ArkLaTex home for the next few days. They're here for the U.S. Southeast Regional Hot Air Balloon Championship being held July 12-14 and the CenterPoint Energy Red River Balloon Rally Presented by Louisiana Feed Your Soul, July 12-13 on the campus of LSU Shreveport.
Drawing more than 20,000 attendees, this annual hot air balloon smackdown is accompanied by live music from a list of regional and nationally acclaimed musicians, food and specialty vendors, children's rides, tethered balloon rides, and a wonderful sight of scores of hot air balloons dotting the southern landscape. To top each of the two night's events off, a spectacular balloon glow is accompanied by a fabulous fireworks display to celebrate the winner of the race and the wonderful class of aviation that is the hot air balloon.
The competitive balloons can be seen throughout Caddo and Bossier parishes each morning starting at 6:45. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings, the balloons can be seen at LSU Shreveport for an assigned competition target attempt.
If you’d like to identify your property as a friendly landing zone, organizers are asking people to lay out a white bed sheet in an open area so balloonists can spot them from the sky.
When looking for a place to land, balloon pilots do their best to be respectful by avoiding fields planted with crops and pastures inhabited by animals. Ideal landing spots include neighborhood streets with underground power lines, business parks with empty parking lots and cul-de-sacs and, of course, open fields on farms, near schools and in public parks.
If you see some hot air balloons in the sky be sure to take a picture and send it to us at email@example.com.
IF YOU GO
Tickets for the festival are $10 ages 6 and over if purchased in advance at participating Super 1 Foods and Brookshire’s stores. Tickets at the gate are $12 ages 18 and up, $10 ages 6-17, $10 military and free for ages 5 and under. For a complete schedule of Red River Balloon Rally events and to purchase special ticket packages and single tickets online, visit www.RedRiverBalloonRally.com or Red River Balloon Rally Facebook page.