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Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Red River Balloon Rally

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The CenterPoint Energy Red River Balloon Rally, presented by the Louisiana Office of Tourism, is the appropriately long title of the almost week-long invasion of over 30 competitors hoping to float away with the championship of this year's U.S. Team Nationals. The Rally celebrates the U.S. Team Nationals in an annual week-long competition that brings together the top 36 balloon pilots from across the United States. Twelve teams of three will practice on June 20 and compete from June 21-25. Spectators can catch their aerial work from 6:30 to 8:30 a.m. Exact locations can be found online at the rally website, www.redriverballoonrally.com.

Each night is scheduled to have live entertainment, food, retail vendors and fireworks sponsored by Red River Bank. TeamLogic IT and Stuart’s Integrated Services sponsored the balloon glow at dusk. You can buy tickets at select Brookshires/Super 1 Foods or online at www.redriverballoonrally.com.

"We're excited. We think it's going to be a great year," said Matthew Hammock, strategic partnership and sponsorship manager of the Shreveport Bossier Sports Commission. He said the competition, sponsored by Red River Bank, will culminate with the announcement of the top three finishers during the musical entertainment on June 25. "We're returning to the Brookshire’s Grocery Arena," Hammock said. "We had a great festival last year, a lot of great response from the public, and we're looking forward to hosting another great event."

"We'll have two great headliners," Hammock said. "Friday night we'll have Tribute to Journey: Odyssey Road. They're a Journey tribute band."

Billed on their website as "The World's Best Journey Tribute Band," the five-man Odyssey Road is scheduled to play from 8:30 to 9:15 p.m. on Friday.

Also on the bill Friday night is local band Tipsey. They are an eight-piece band playing hits from numerous artists and genres.

"Saturday night, we're bringing in Lanco, which is an up-and-coming country group. They've got a lot of pretty good hits already," Hammock noted.

On Saturday evening from 8:30 to 9:15 p.m. Lanco, an American country music band consisting of Brandon Lancaster, Chandler Baldwin, Jared Hampton, Tripp Howell and Eric Steedly, will entertain. The band's name is short for Lancaster and Company.

Also sharing the bill Saturday will be the local foursome Shayliff.

Hammock said they already had between 15 and 20 food vendors lined up for the event. "We will have a scheduled event for our list of food vendors and ways for people to sign up to volunteer. Of course, they can go to our Facebook page as well, redriverballoonrally, and our Instagram, which is redriver. balloonrally.”

He said A Brighter Smile Dental Care is sponsoring the free parking.

Hammock said visitors can expect a free kid zone courtesy of AEP SWEPCO. There will also be a professional kite-flying exhibition and a new attraction, the Cane-ival Tent, presented by Raisin' Canes.

Some of the arrangements were still being finalized at press time, but you can get updates from the Rally website at RedRiverBalloonRally. com.

According to organizers, all times for the events are approximate, and the schedule may change without notice. All the events are subject to weather delays or cancellations, and there are no refunds or rain checks for any admission fees to the festival.

ABOUT THE COMPETITION:

According to its website, the Balloon Federation of America, which is in charge of the competition, is a membership organization dedicated to the art, sport and science of ballooning. Its mission is to represent U.S. balloonists and ballooning enthusiasts in the U.S., its territories and possessions to the international ballooning community.

The Carolinas Balloon Association said referring to these competitions as "races" might be a bit of a misnomer since balloon pilots don't control the path of a hot air balloon; it's dictated by the wind currents and the pilot's skill. Balloon competitions score how close a pilot can get to a pre-determined target. Small, weighted markers are dropped from the balloon in an attempt to be closest to the designated target.

Pilots have reportedly gotten so good at finding their targets that the difference between a first and third or fourth place in a competition can be in fractions of an inch.

Competition directors have devised some devilishly complicated tasks for the balloon crews to accomplish. During their competition, the balloon teams will navigate several of these challenges to accumulate points toward the championship. For example, the Constellation Task is a multi-part challenge in which competitors try to drop a marker or achieve what's called a track point on multiple targets laid out randomly.

The Team Convergent Task features balloonists selecting their own launch areas at a stipulated distance from the goal and each other and then heading for a single target set by the director. The closest marker to the target wins.

The Team Minimum Distance Drop has competitors attempting to drop markers in a defined area. The idea is to achieve the shortest distance between any two markers.

2022 The Bossier City Farmers’ Market Joins the Rally

Look for the Bossier City Farmers’ Market tent and many other great vendors at the on June 24 and 25, Friday and Saturday evenings. There will be 50 local vendors and makers there with all kinds of unique finds. Look for market goods, honey, soap, jewelry, clothing, jams and jellies, loads of baked goods, kettle corn, local businesses, giveaways, leather goods, textiles, artists and more.

The event is from 5–10 p.m. each evening, with free parking and free family activities.

CenterPoint Energy Red River Balloon Rally on June 24-25 is hosting the U.S. Team Nationals leading up to the festival.

The U.S. Team Nationals is an annual week-long competition that brings together the top 36 balloon pilots from across the United States. These 12 teams of three will have one practice day (June 20) and five days of competition from June 21-25. You can see them flying from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Be sure to check our Facebook page for the most updated information and locations.


Friday, June 24

• 6 am - 7 am
U.S. Nationals Competition Flight (No Admission Fee)

• 5 pm - 5:05 pm
Gates Open for CenterPoint
Energy RRBR at BGA site

• 5 pm - 11 pm
AEP Swepco Kidz Fun Zone

• 5 pm - 11 pm
Professional Kite Flying Exhibition

• 6 pm - 7 pm
Live Entertainment: Tipsey

• 6 pm - 11 pm
Tethered Balloon Rides (Wind & Weather Permitting)
$20 Per Person

• 7:05 pm - 7:15 pm
National Anthem & Fiesta Balloon Takeoff

• 7:15 pm - 8:30 pm
Live Entertainment: A Tribute to Journey, Odyssey Road

• 8:30 pm - 9:15 pm
Balloon Glow
Sponsored by TeamLogic IT and Stuart's Integrated Services

• 9:30 pm - 9:40 pm
Fireworks Show
Sponsored by Red River Bank

• 10 pm - 10:05 pm
Gates Close for the Day

Saturday, June 25

• 6 am - 7 am
U.S. Nationals Competition Flight
(No Admission Fee)

• 5 pm - 5:05 pm
Gates Open for CenterPoint
Energy RRBR at BGA site

• 5 pm - 11 pm
AEP SWEPCO Kidz Fun Zone

• 5 pm - 11 pm
Professional Kite Flying Exhibition

• 6 pm - 7 pm
Live Entertainment: Shayliff

• 6 pm - 11 pm
Tethered Balloon Rides (Wind & Weather Permitting) $20 Per Person

• 7:05 pm - 7:20 pm
National Anthem & Fiesta Balloon Takeoff

• 7:15 pm - 8:30 pm
Live Entertainment: LANCO

• 8:30 pm - 9:15 pm
Balloon Glow
Sponsored by TeamLogic IT and Stuart's Integrated Services

• 9:30 pm - 9:40 pm
Fireworks Show Sponsored by Red River Bank

• 10 pm - 10:05 pm
Gates Close for the Day

Sunday, June 26

• 4 pm - 8:05 pm
Live Entertainment: LANCO
All times are approximate, and schedule may change without notice. All events are subject to weather delays or cancellations. No refunds or rain checks for any admission fees for the festival.

Sunday, June 26

• 4 pm - 8 pm
Balloons Over DeSoto

ON STANDS NOW!

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