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August 19, 2019 / Millerann Moya / , , , / Comments

InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival Celebrating 40 Years Of Ballooning

Each September, the City of Plano, also the official Hot Air Balloon Capital of Texas, hosts the largest balloon festival in the Lone Star State with more than 100,000 guests attending each year.

This year is extra special because the Plano Balloon Festival is celebrating 40 Years of Ballooning in Plano!

More than 50 hot air balloons from around the U.S. will take to the sky September 20-22 for the 2019 InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival at Oak Point Park & Nature Preserve. The festival that began in 1980 now schedules a three-day weekend of balloon activities, starting with the Balloon Launch presented by RE/MAX on Friday, September 20 at 6:00 p.m. followed by the illuminating Balloon Glow at 8:00 p.m. Browse the special shape hot air balloons that includes Bimbo Bear, Peg Leg Pete, High Kitty, and more!

Saturday, September 21 you’ll want to rise early to be at the festival for the 7:00 a.m. Balloon Launch presented by the City of Plano, Balloon Fly-In Competition at 8:00 a.m., Balloon Activities presented by InTouch Credit Union at 6:00 p.m., and another glimmering Balloon Glow at 8:00 p.m. All balloon activities on Sunday, September 22 are presented by the City of Plano and scheduled for 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. with a second round of the Balloon Fly-In Competition set for 8:00 a.m. The scheduled activities are weather permitting and subject to change as determined by Pat Cannon serving as the Balloonmeister and Competition Director.

For the third year, we are excited to showcase Plano’s new 2016 Cameron XL-70 racer hot air balloon named “Excellence” flown by local pilot Bill Broker. Learn more about “Excellence” here.

Win our Plano Balloon Festival Weekend Giveaway here!

Package includes: a 1-night stay at the Homewood Suites by Hilton Plano/Richardson, 4 tickets to the festival, VIP parking, a $50 restaurant gift card, and a picnic basket full of goodies.

WHAT TO SEE & DO

Other activities include the RE/MAX of Texas Parachute Team Exhibition, the KLUV Main Stage features Downtown Fever presented by T-Mobile, Moving Colors Band courtesy of Metro by T-Mobile, a Spectacular Fireworks Show sponsored by Bimbo Bakeries USA, local group performances on the KDFW Fox 4 Community Stage and more.

The family-friendly Central Market Kids Fun Zone features inflatable rides, berry-go-round, Toddler Zone, and a free Kids Korner with make-and-take art activities.

Tethered rides are available during regularly scheduled balloon activities! A tethered ride is when the balloon lifts off the ground, hovers 20-30 feet above the ground for several minutes, but does not launch and fly away. Rides will be offered on-site at the festival, weather permitting, on a first come first serve basis and at the individual pilot’s discretion. Tethered rides are only available when the hot air balloons are scheduled to be on the field. Tickets are available for purchase on-site (cash only). Adults are $25 and children between 6-12 years old are $15.

There are over 30 food concessionaires and booths on-site at the InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival that offer uplifting menu items like fresh-squeezed lemonade, funnel cakes, turkey legs, kettle corn, burgers, smoothies, gelato and more. There is something for everyone!

Are you ready to take an epic adventure? Register to run the Plano Balloon Festival Half Marathon, 10K, 5K and 1K races! Earn a bonus finisher medal by completing the Sky High Challenge or Elevate Challenge and receive three medals for two races. Registered runners receive two festival tickets, race day parking, and automatically entered for a chance to win a hot air balloon ride! General registration ends August 31, online registration for the Half Marathon and 10K closes September 21 at Noon, and all other race registration closes September 20 at Noon. There is no race day registration.

LIVE MUSIC

Friday, September 20 a local Emerald City band favorite, Downtown Fever will open up the festival on the KLUV Main Stage at 4:15 p.m., and keep you dancing with two additional sets at 7:00 p.m. and 8:45 p.m. Saturday, September 21 Missing 3 Band presented by T-Mobile will ignite the KLUV Main Stage starting at 4:00 p.m., and Moving Colors Band will rock the stage at 7:00 p.m., 8:30 p.m., and a final set at 9:30 p.m. after the Spectacular Fireworks Show.

festival, InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival Celebrating 40 Years Of Ballooning

VOLUNTEER

More than 3,000 volunteers fill shifts each year to serve in various positions within the festival to help make it run smoothly throughout the weekend. Volunteers receive a free festival t-shirt and complimentary admission. Sign-up to work the gates, assist vendor booths, greet guests, or be a crew member for a hot air balloon pilot. All volunteers must be 18 years of age or older and able to lift 30-40 lbs. National Honor Society students may sign-up to work in the Kids Korner craft tent to help children with their artwork.

DETAILS

The festival celebration opens at 4 p.m. Friday and 6 a.m. Saturday and Sunday and will close at 7 p.m. Sunday. Daily entry is $10 per person or a Weekend Ticket is $20 per person. Admission is $5 for kids 3-12 years old and Seniors 65 and older. Children under 36 inches are admitted free. Online ticket sales begin this Fall and daily tickets will be available at the gate September 20-22, 2019. Additional questions about dogs, coolers, lawn chairs and more have been answered on the InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival website.

 

Parking is available at Collin College Spring Creek Campus, Oak Point Recreation Center, First United Methodist Church and Community Unitarian Universalist Church for $10 per car. Offsite parking is available at Plano Event Center for $5 per car. Park & Ride shuttles are available for $10 per car at Collin Creek Church. You can also hop on the “Balloon Flyer” from the DART Parker Road Station. Buses will run continuously during festival operating hours.

Stay the Weekend

Want to book your weekend stay? See a complete list of hotels in Plano here. Take advantage of these special balloon festival hotel packages:

PILOT HOST HOTELS

Home2 Suites by Hilton Plano / Richardson
401 Wynhurst Drive
Plano, Texas 75074
469-661-2900
Hotel Website

Hampton Inn & Suites
2813 E. President George Bush Highway
Plano, Texas 75074
972-509-4500
Hotel Website

RUN HOST HOTEL

Homewood Suites
2601 East President George Bush Highway
Plano, Texas 75074
972-881-3339
Hotel Website

SPECIAL FESTIVAL PACKAGES FOR ATTENDEES

Includes festival tickets, accommodations and hotel shuttle service to and from the festival.

Courtyard Dallas/Plano/Richardson
1805 East President George Bush Highway
Plano, Texas 75074
972-516-2949
Hotel Website

Residence Inn Dallas/Plano/Richardson
1705 East President George Bush Highway
Plano, Texas 75074
972-424-9101
Hotel Website

Homewood Suites
2601 East President George Bush Highway
Plano, Texas 75074
972-881-3339
Hotel Website

Hampton Inn & Suites
3316 Central Expressway
Plano, Texas 75074
972-905-5786
Hotel Website

The Plano Balloon Festival, Inc. is a non-profit that impacts other charitable organizations within the community. And, it is able to operate thanks to more than 3,000 volunteers who sign-up to work shifts at the gates, in the parking lots, and people can even help pilots as part of their crews that inflate and launch the hot air balloons.