Balloon race offers something for all

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 5, 2003

Hopefully, by the time many of us leave the house this morning, those buoyant orbs of color will already be dotting the sky over the Miss-Lou as the Great Mississippi River Balloon Race lifts off again.

This morning’s media flight is just the beginning of a weekend filled with races, a balloon glow, and a festival with food, entertainment and children’s games.

Balloon race weekend has become a treasured event in the Miss-Lou. Who can resist the sight of those colorful balloons bobbing above antebellum houses?

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While other balloon events across the country sometimes have trouble attracting pilots, Natchez has a waiting list of folks who want to race or even just crew for the weekend.

Balloon race is in many ways the epitome of Natchez: Volunteers who know how to work hard and play hard take part in an event that raises money for nonprofits, raises awareness of our area as a tourist attraction and raises our sense of community.

Residents have plenty of chances this weekend to enjoy the balloons and everything that comes along with them, with music acts trading the stage all day Saturday and Sunday, children’s rides set up at the grounds of Rosalie and pilots gearing up for a weekend of races.

Balloon race is also an event that showcases our ties to Concordia Parish, as balloons line both banks of the river for tonight’s balloon glow and pilots take off and land on either side of the Mississippi. While the festivities are under way this weekend, a flea market at the Vidalia riverfront offers another opportunity for fun.

We encourage everyone to get out and enjoy the weekend.