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Balloon race important to community

Months of preparation kicks into action today in what is easily Natchez’s single-biggest weekend for visitors.

Today begins the Great Mississippi River Balloon Race. The annual event had humble beginnings but has grown to be a powerhouse weekend for our community.

For most balloon race participants the event is simply a great time. It’s filled with beautiful balloons, if the weather cooperates, and great music and other fun.

But all of that fun takes an incredible amount of planning, hard work and money.

We tip our hats this morning to all of the area businesses that sponsor the event, either by being a headlining sponsor or by sponsoring an individual balloon.

And we thank the many, many volunteers without whom the balloon race would not take off each year.

The balloon race is an interesting event in that it’s meant to be a fundraiser. It’s officially an event of the Historic Natchez Foundation, but HNF often does good just to break even on the event.

Instead the big winners are the local business owners who typically enjoy a huge weekend of business thanks to the thousands of people coming to Natchez for the festival.

We welcome visitors today and encourage locals to do their part in helping support this most important community event.

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