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Balloon alerts will help with your therapy

Are you in need of a respite from Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton?

Are your politically charged Facebook friends driving you crazy with link to the latest election scandal?

Do you need a reason to take your eyes away from the computer screen or cell phone?

Would you like to see something a little more uplifting or,  may be even a lot more uplifting than reading the listening to one of the talking heads on TV spout off about that lying, cheating, no good candidate for president (insert the name of the of a candidate depending on your political preference)?

Thankfully, every four years when the presidential election grinds down to the final days, the Great Mississippi River Balloon Race comes along as a welcome distraction for a few days.

There is something about the sight of a hot-air balloon that brings out the child in even the crankiest folks. Even the sight of one balloon drifting across the horizon elicits smiles and laughter.

Three balloons flew high above John R. Junkin Thursday morning as drivers stopped on the side of the road to catch a glimpse. Store owners left their businesses unattended to take a few pictures with their cell phone on Jefferson Davis Boulevard. Children stood outside a local school cheering and pointing as it passed by.

Seeing 40 or 50 balloons scattered across the sky is a beautiful sight. When they move together in what could be mistaken for a carefully choreographed dance, the effect is jaw-dropping.

A good balloon race weekend can be the best kind of therapy, especially in a year that is dominated by anger, hate and deceit.

No prescription is needed.

Of course, you have to know where the balloons are taking off and where they will be headed. Unless you join one of the balloon race crews in town, knowing exactly where to be to see the balloons fly can be difficult.

Thankfully, The Natchez Democrat each year offers a way to keep up with the balloons without you having to run all over town.

Readers cans sign up today at natchezdemocrat.com/balloon-race for our balloon race flight updates. There is also a link on the newspaper’s homepage. If you signed up previously for balloon updates, you are already signed up for this year’s race.

Prior to each scheduled liftoff, natchezdemocrat.com will send a message to subscribers telling them when and where the balloons are flying throughout the weekend.

And we will tell it to you directly to your cell phone or computer while you are still in pajamas, with your coffee.

With the text alerts, you can ease over to the spot where the balloons are headed and feel confident that you will have a front row seat to the action.

If the weather’s not right for flying, our flight updates will let you know so you can get on with the rest of your day or stay cozy in your bed.

So this weekend, don’t just set your eyes skyward wondering where the balloons are.

Look to The Natchez Democrat and natchezdemocrat.com to give you news, photos and video coverage of this year’s Great Mississippi River Balloon Race.

Ben Hillyer is the news editor at The Natchez Democrat. He can be reached at 601-445-3540 or ben.hillyer@natchezdemocrat.com.