Volunteers help make weekend fly

Published 12:13 am Sunday, October 21, 2007

A little vision, a lot of hard work and some liquid propane have turned an otherwise ordinary October weekend into something special in Natchez.

Some 21 years ago a handful of local dreamers thought, “Why can’t we have a balloon festival?”

Two decades later, it’s difficult to imagine Natchez without a balloon race. It’s easily the biggest, single weekend tourist draw we have.

Email newsletter signup

But originally, it must have seemed a crazy notion really.

While many other ballooning events are in flat areas, ours is in the heart of downtown, on the grounds of a 19th century house, sitting high atop the bluffs overlooking the river.

Pilots must be highly skilled to compete at our race and despite the varied terrain, the safety record our race has is great. That’s a testament to the men and women who work behind the scenes to make everything go off without a hitch.

Organizers estimate as many as 40,000 people may come to the event over the course of the weekend. Each one of those people will spend some money here and make a big difference in the area’s economy.

Vision, hard work and propane equal dollars.

Our hats are off to all of the hard working volunteers who make this event such a booming success for Natchez area businesses.