SPECIAL SHAPE HOT AIR BALLOONS & PILOTS

Among the more than 50 hot air balloons at the InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival you’ll find a handful of special shapes that evoke love, joy, swashbuckling fun, and even make you meow.

 

Celebrating 40 Years of Ballooning in Plano, we proudly share these as the beloved special shapes and pilots participating in 2019.  And if you’d like to volunteer to get a hands-on experience with the balloons then sign-up for a shift with a hot air balloon crew. Volunteers help with inflation, lift-off, landings, the evening glow, and receive a free festival shirt.

BIMBO BEAR – PILOT:  JOHN PETREHN

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COMMERCIAL PILOT SCOTT VESELY MAKES RETURN FLIGHT BACK TO PLANO

By: Morgan Kosinski

 

The InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival is thrilled to have the highly decorated, and equally charming, Scott Vesely return for what promises to be another epic flight.

At Dawn’s Early Light

A commercial balloon pilot since 1982, Vesely has been cruising the skies for decades.

 

Most recently, he led a team of twelve pilots at Dawn Patrol, a magical event at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

 

“There is nothing like flying Dawn Patrol in Albuquerque,” Vesely recalls wistfully, “We watch the sunrise over the Sandia Mountains and the traffic come onto the field. There is nothing like that type of flight.”

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RE/MAX OF TEXAS PARACHUTE TEAM TO JUMP OUT OF AIRPLANE!

The RE/MAX of Texas Parachute Team is scheduled for daily exhibitions that involve jumping out of an airplane, gliding down to the field, and landing in front of thousands of cheering fans.  Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 5:30 p.m. you’ll want to make your way to the field for this adventurous experience at the InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival being held September 21-23, 2018 at Oak Point Park.

 

This attraction is included with admission into the three-day weekend that also includes a fireworks show, two nights of concerts on the KLUV Main Stage and more than 50 hot air balloons! The full schedule detailing all the activities may be found here on the website.  The gates open at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, September 21, kids 36″ and under receive free entry and general Tickets are $10 per person or $20 for the weekend pass.

 

Watch this beautiful video of the RE/MAX of Texas Parachute Team posted on our YouTube channel! #PlanoBalloon

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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KLUV MAIN STAGE FEATURES DOWNTOWN FEVER AND GOOD QUESTION BAND

The InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival has a launch field for the hot air balloons and the KLUV Main Stage for the entertainment! This year Downtown Fever, an Emerald City Band, will kick-off the opening of the gates on Friday, September 21, 2018 and take the stage at 4:15 p.m.  The crowds will make their way to field and see the RE/MAX of Texas Parachute Team Exhibition jump out of an airplane at 5:30 p.m., and Downtown Fever will light up the stage again for two more sets at 7:00 p.m. and 8:45 p.m.

 

 

On Saturday, September 22, 2018 we’ve got Texas based Good Question Band in concert on the KLUV Main Stage presented by T-Mobile starting at 4:00 p.m. They have three more igniting sets on stage at 7:00 p.m., 8:30 p.m., and 9:30 p.m. In between those sets we’re going to squeeze in the RE/MAX Parachute Team Exhibition, the Hot Air Balloon Glow, and a Spectacular Fireworks Show presented by Bimbo Bakeries USA at 9:00 p.m.  The festival closes for the evening at 10:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

 

 

The schedule of events for Friday & Saturday is detailed below and the full schedule for Sunday is available online:   https://www.planoballoonfest.org/events

 

Friday, Sept. 21
4:00 PM – Festival Opens and Bus Service Begins
4:15 PM – Downtown Fever in Concert on the KLUV Main Stage
5:30 PM – RE/MAX of Texas Parachute Team Exhibition
6:00 PM – Balloon Activities presented by RE/MAX
7:00 PM – Downtown Fever in Concert on the KLUV Main Stage
8:00 PM – Balloon Glow – Balloon Glow
8:45 PM – Downtown Fever in Concert on the KLUV Main Stage
10:00 PM – Festival Closes
Saturday, Sept. 22
6:00 AM – Gates and Parking Lots Open | Bus Service Begins
7:00 AM – Balloon Activities presented by the City of Plano
7:30 AM – 5K Run / Walk
8:00 AM – Balloon Fly-In Competition
9:00 AM – 1K Run / Walk
9:30 AM – 5K Awards Ceremony
4:00 PM – Good Question Band in Concert on the KLUV Main Stage presented by T-Mobile
5:30 PM – RE/MAX of Texas Parachute Team Exhibition
6:00 PM – Balloon Activities presented by InTouch Credit Union
7:00 PM – Good Question Band in Concert on the KLUV Main Stage presented by T-Mobile
8:00 PM – Balloon Glow
8:30 PM – Good Question Band in Concert on the KLUV Main Stage presented by T-Mobile
9:00 PM – Spectacular Fireworks Show presented by Bimbo Bakeries USA
9:30 PM – Good Question Band in Concert on the KLUV Main Stage presented by T-Mobile
10:00 PM – Festival Closes

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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CAMP GLADIATOR PARTNERS WITH PLANO BALLOON FESTIVAL RACES

Camp Gladiator has partnered with the Plano Balloon Festival Races to help runners when they pick-up race packets on September 15 and 16 at Academy Sports and Outdoors at 4045 N. Central Expressway in Plano. Runners who are already registered for the Plano Balloon Festival Races can pick-up race packets from Camp Gladiator representatives between 11:00 am and 6:00 pm.

 

There is no race day registration or packet pick-up.  Additional packet dates are as follows:

Thursday, Sept 20 – 2:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Friday, Sept 21 – 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Saturday, Sept 22 – 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Plano Event Center, Spring Glade Room, 2000 E. Spring Creek Parkway, Plano, TX 75074

 

Camp Gladiators will work alongside the Plano Balloon Festival Races to promote health, fitness and being outdoors. Camp Gladiator is a four-week outdoor group fitness program. Each workout or “Camp” is a 60 minute, full-body workout incorporating both cardio and strength training.  The mission of Camp Gladiator is to positively impact the physical fitness and ultimately the lives of as many people as possible.

Camp Gladiator Members In Training Session in Plano, Texas
Camp Gladiator Members In Training Session in Plano, Texas

“Exercising outside has so many benefits to exercising inside. When you’re outside, your body is having to work with so many external elements – temperature, wind, dynamic surfaces, etc.,”says Camp Gladiator partner trainer Becky Leverett. “When you challenge your body with an unstable environment, your muscles and brain are constantly having to react and re-adjust which makes it hard for the body and brain to ever become complacent and bored.”

Runners and walkers of every fitness level will have the opportunity to connect with nature, get some fresh air, and see the soaring balloons festival weekend. The 1K fun run and 5k are on Saturday, September 22 and the 10k and Half Marathon run on Sunday, September 23. Registration is online only. Camp Gladiator trainers are prepared to lead the pre-run warm-ups both days, and be on site all weekend at the festival to connect with the Plano community and encourage active lifestyles.

CG Logo

“Our bodies are capable of so much more than we give it credit for,” says Leverett. “I challenge every person to step outside of their comfort zone and run that race or attend a camp.”

 

Camp Gladiator is the largest adult outdoor fitness program in the Nation and DFW Metroplex.  Those ready for more outdoor fitness opportunities can find more than 50 Plano-area Camp Gladiator programs at CampGladiator.com for all local camps or connect with Leverett via email beckyleverett@campgladiator.com with any questions.

 

 

General registration for the Plano Balloon Festival Races ends August 31 and online registration for the Challenges closes at Noon on Friday, September 21 and the Half Marathon and 10K race registration closes at Noon on Saturday, September 22.    The InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival is a three day weekend starting September 21 and continuing until Sunday, September 23, 2018 at Oak Point Park in Plano, TX. Advance tickets are available online at www.planoballoonfest.org or at participating InTouch Credit Union locations starting September 1.   #PBFRaces #PlanoBalloon

MOVING COLORS PRESENTED BY VERIZON & LIMELIGHT PRESENTED BY DIRECT ENERGY SEPTEMBER 22-23

Direct Energy banner

The InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival announced Moving Colors and Limelight as the main stage entertainment to perform September 22-23, 2017! This annual festival draws more than 100,000 guests to Oak Point Park during the 3-day weekend and this year marks the 38th for the community based non-profit organization. #PlanoBalloon

Limelight band pic
Limelight band pic

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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