CHARITABLE SPIRITS LIFT UP THE PLANO BALLOON FESTIVAL

Throughout the 39 years of producing this annual tradition within North Texas, the Plano Balloon Festival, Inc. has never experienced such a devastating loss.  The Festival is not a large corporate entity, but rather a 501(c)3 non-profit organization led by 13 Board of Directors. The sadness, and significant economic loss, is shared with the 58 local non-profits, 75 vendors, dozens of sponsors, pilots, crew, and more than 5,000 volunteers who were committed to the event.

 

The Festival mission is to produce a family-oriented ballooning event to benefit the community. The objective is to also offer other non-profits an opportunity to assist with the operations of the Festival and raise funds. These agencies work the gates, parking lots, kids fun zone and the races. For their services these non-profits are compensated a portion of the revenue. However, this year they earned no money to apply towards their impactful programs within the community.

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TWENTY-YEAR VOLUNTEER REMEMBERS THE BEST OF THE PLANO BALLOON FESTIVAL

In 1998, a hot air balloon came to rest on a quiet street in Murphy, TX. Trevor Laswell was only seven years old and this captured his attention. He expressed his interest in wanting to get involved with ballooning to the pilot, who referred him to crew training at the Plano balloon festival. That same year, Laswell took his first ride in a balloon with Suzanne and Don Smith in their balloon Hours Stars. Laswell’s father, Steve Laswell, was the festival’s volunteer coordinator at the time helped get the young Laswell involved.

 

Laswell has been involved with the Plano Balloon Festival for 20 years, most recently serving on the balloon operations team, which ensures the safety of the pilots and spectators and assists with all the details of the actual balloons. He’s come a long way since he was seven. Continue reading “TWENTY-YEAR VOLUNTEER REMEMBERS THE BEST OF THE PLANO BALLOON FESTIVAL”

INTOUCH CREDIT UNION PLANO BALLOON FESTIVAL WINS BEST OF PLANO MAGAZINE 2018

InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival was named the Best Event/Festival in the Past Year in Plano by Plano Magazine for 2018. The magazine collected 97,697 votes to get the Best of Plano Magazine 2018 winners in several categories. Plano Magazine staff and contributors nominate events, business and services for the Best Of Awards, which are then voted on by people in the community. See the complete list of winners here. Voters also chose InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival as in the Best Event/Festival in Plano in 2017 after 239,570 votes were cast.

 

The airborne balloons and fireworks make InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival the most visible event in town, and one of the most exciting. But the hot air balloons aren’t the only draw. On September 21-23, 2018, festival weekend also includes the Kids Korner in the Central Market Kids Fun Zone, RE/MAX of Texas Parachute Team Exhibition, live entertainment on two stages, fireworks show, delicious festival food, and the Plano Balloon Festival Half Marathon, 10K, 5K and 1K. Registration for all races is available online only. The festival opens at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, September 21. Find the full schedule of events here.

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PEANUT BUTTER DONATIONS SPREAD HOPE IN COLLIN COUNTY

The Plano Balloon Festival, Inc. has partnered with the North Texas Food Bank and the City of Plano in the 5th Annual Plano Peanut Butter Drive and will accept donations at the 2018 InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival. The festival is September 21-23 at Oak Point Park in Plano and collection boxes will be on-site throughout the weekend.

 

“We invite our attendees to donate a plastic, 16 oz. jar of peanut butter to help us reach this year’s ambitious goal of collecting 50,000 pounds to help feed our hungry neighbors,” says Jo Via, Executive Director of the Plano Balloon Festival, Inc.

 

Food insecurity often goes unseen but affects 16% of the people in Collin County and one of every four children across North Texas. By raising awareness about this need and, more importantly, giving people in the community an opportunity to meet the need, the InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival helps to make Plano better for everyone. Peanut butter collected in this drive will be distributed to hungry families in Collin County and the 13 counties served by the NTFB.

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CELEBRATION EVENT CENTER HOSTING PILOTS & CREW

The InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival began in 1980 in the City of Plano, and new for 2018 is a spacious location to set-up balloon operations headquarters.  More than 50 hot air balloon pilots and hundreds of crew members will be hosted by Celebration Event Center located at the Northwest corner of Custer Road and Park Blvd.

 

“The pilots and balloon crew members will be extremely excited and wowed by the amazing Celebration Event Center and Ballroom.  In the 39 years of Plano Balloon Festival pilot and crew functions, this facility is offering the very best place for their gatherings,” states Jo Via, Executive Director for the InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival.

 

The three-day festival weekend is September 21-23 and the majority of the 10,000 square ft facility, including the Large Ballroom, is to be used exclusively by pilots and crew. There are a few regularly scheduled classes that will continue in rooms located within the building such as Zumba, Martial Arts, and Bollywood Dance.

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CENTRAL MARKET HOSTS FESTIVAL PREVIEW & PHOTOGRAPHER DRAWING

InTouch Credit Union Balloon
InTouch Credit Union Balloon

It’s August and the temperature is rising above triple digits here in the Lone Star State.  In the “Land of Enhatchment” the heat is cranked up even more in celebration of 22 years as the “hatchiest place on Earth” at Central Market.  Last Thursday local pilot Scott Vesely inflated and tethered the InTouch Credit Union hot air balloon in the parking lot at the Central Market location at 320 Coit Road in Plano.

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FESTIVAL RECRUITING 60 VOLUNTEERS FOR HOT AIR BALLOON CREW

2016 Volunteer Crew Training held at Oak Point Park for #PlanoBalloon
2016 Volunteer Crew Training held at Oak Point Park for #PlanoBalloon

Hello, my name is Steve Laswell and I am the Volunteer Crew Coordinator for the 2017 InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival. I would like to share with you and your group of some volunteer opportunities for the Plano Balloon Festival. We are recruiting folks to help crew for a Hot Air Balloon Pilot for our Festival on September 22, 23, and 24, 2017.

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PLANO BALLOON FESTIVAL, INC. CELEBRATES 10 YEARS WITH INTOUCH CREDIT UNION

Plano Balloon Festival, Inc. Celebrates 10 Years With InTouch Credit Union
Plano Balloon Festival, Inc. Celebrates 10 Years With InTouch Credit Union

In June 2017, Jo Via, Executive Director and Jessica Jackson, Event Director, together presented a commemorative photograph to the InTouch Credit Union to hang in their main office located at Democracy and Parkwood in Plano, Texas.  The canvas mounted photo was taken by Janelle Twyford-Silvis, owner of AlleeOops Photography and member of the Plano Balloon Festival, Inc. Board of Directors.

ITCU recently established themselves as the longest running Title Sponsor of the Plano Balloon Festival held in the City of Plano noted as the Official Hot Air Balloon Capital of Texas.  The partnership began in 2006 and both ITCU and the Festival have similar philosophies regarding community involvement and providing opportunities for local non-profits to raise funds and create awareness about their organizations and programs.

“It is the Festival’s commitment to local non-profits that attracted ITCU to our organization.  The Festival’s partnership with over 55 local agencies is a fundamental component of the event and melds well with ITCU’s overall philosophy within their own organization,” explains Jo Via, Executive Director of Plano Balloon Festival, Inc.

Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere with InTouch Credit Union CEO, Kent Lugrand presenting check to My Possibilities at the 2013 InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival
Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere with InTouch Credit Union CEO, Kent Lugrand presenting check to My Possibilities at the 2013 InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival

ITCU has also donated more than $10,000 to 19 local non-profits including organizations such as My Possibilities, Meals on Wheels, Heritage Farmstead Museum, and Samaritan Inn.  “Their commitment to the community reaches beyond the Festival and the non-profits they honor at our event,” says Via.

InTouch Credit Union presents check to Meals on Wheels
InTouch Credit Union presents check to Meals on Wheels

Now celebrating more than 10 years, the current agreement generously secures the title rights through 2019. “We have the type of Title Sponsor Partnership that is the very best. They are exceptionally loyal and offer outstanding resources, to make the festival successful every year. We are truly blessed to have the InTouch Credit Union, and their entire team, as our remarkable Title Sponsor,” states Via.

InTouch Credit Union hot air balloon on the launch field.
InTouch Credit Union hot air balloon on the launch field.

In 2010, the ITCU truly exemplified the Festival mission by learning about ballooning so that a hot air balloon could represent their company on the field. Local pilot Scott Vesley will fly the vibrantly colorful ICTU hot air balloon again this year, as he did in 2016.

ITCU - Chip
ITCU – Chip

This year the InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival will be held September 22-24, 2017 at Oak Point Park in Plano, Texas. ITCU graciously provides on-site Automated Teller Machines during the Festival weekend and a fun ITCU mascot “Chip” for kids to enjoy. They’ll also have a booth staffed by employees to answer questions about their services and offering fun games for giveaways during regular festival hours.  More information about ITCU may be found www.itcu.org and Festival details are available at www.planoballoonfest.org.

Contact Jo Via for Plano Balloon Festival, Inc. media related questions: jovia@planoballoonfest.org. #PlanoBalloon #InTouchCreditU

MOVING COLORS, A PHENOMENAL FUNK YOU UP SHOW

“Moving Colors, A Phenomenal Funk You Up Show”
“Moving Colors, A Phenomenal Funk You Up Show”

By guest contributor: Christina Kennedy

Moving Colors is a native Dallas dance band known for having fun on stage. Members include Bill Brooks, Tim Harris, Landon Torbett, Joey Salvia, Trey Chamberlain, Chris Davis, Adrian Lea Jarvis, Rachel Pride, Alex Martin and Darren Fair. This highly adaptable band plays songs spanning generations, from oldies and classics to today’s top hits. They move seamlessly from your Jackson 5 favorites to today’s chart-topping musicians such as Beyoncé, Maroon 5 and Lady Gaga.

When it comes to performing again at the InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival, Bill Brooks, lead guitarist and vocalist for Moving Colors said, “We’re excited, flattered and honored to be asked back. That’s a big deal for any band to perform in front of that many people and then to be asked back, it’s a huge compliment.”

Moving Colors has also played at venues such as the Arboretum, Six Flags, Lone Star Park and at top clubs in the area. They are more than just performing and want to leave their guests entertained, “It’s not about how the band sounds, it’s about the visual.”  Between creating unique artwork live on stage, to performing their inventive bucket percussion routines, similar to Stomp! but much cooler, Moving Colors, “try to be as entertaining as we can and not just show up there and play music.” The band wants to make sure, whether at a public festival or private event, you always leave having watched a phenomenal stage show, not just a concert.

With upbeat music meant to excite the audience and get everyone moving on the dance floor, expectations for Moving Colors at the InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival are set high with no doubt they will be blown away. They are a band suitable for all ages, generations and music fans and Moving Colors has three scheduled performances on Saturday, September 23, 2017 starting at 7:00 p.m., 8:30 p.m., and 9:30 p.m. on the 98.7 KLUV Main Stage presented by Verizon.

The full #PlanoBalloon entertainment line-up is detailed: http://www.planoballoonfest.org/events/entertainment.

Find out more about Moving Colors:  http://movingcolorsband.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/movingcolors

Twitter: https://twitter.com/movingcolors1

LIMELIGHT ON THE KLUV MAIN STAGE – PRESENTED BY DIRECT ENERGY

Limelight band pic
Official Limelight band picture

Guest contributor: Christina Kennedy

Limelight is ready to entertain the audience with their high-energy approach and eclectic style at the 2017 InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival on the KLUVMain Stage presented by Direct Energy.  Established in 2009, Limelight took the 25-year experience and reputation of Emerald City Band and created a new ensemble with its very own unique style and personality.

Easily making music and dancing their top priority for all their audience members, Limelight is guaranteed to make any event unforgettable. While being the life of the party and bringing the crowd to their feet, Limelight is exceptionally eager to officially make their #PlanoBalloon debut.

“This festival is well known across the country and we feel honored to be part of such a great tradition. We live in Plano and always look forward to that special weekend when the sky is filled with huge, colored balloons. We have a deep connection with the community, starting over 25 years ago, we’ve had the privilege to call Plano and the surrounding cities our home.” – Limelight

Direct Energy banner
Limelight in Concert on the KLUV Main Stage presented by Direct Energy on September 22, 2017 at these performance times:

4:00 – 5:30 PM
7:00 – 8:00 PM
8:45 – 10:00 PM

Limelight is a festivity all their own. Comprised of a professional 11-piece band, their musical expertise spans decades. From classical to current hits and all your party staples, they want to make sure to give everyone something to sing about. Limelight does everything they can to take their shows to the next level so the audience is sharing their spot in the limelight.

Limelight logo
Limelight logo

Check out www.limelightband.com for more info about upcoming shows and follow on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival will be held September 22-24, 2017 at Oak Point Park in Plano, Texas.  www.planoballoonfest.org #PlanoBalloon