PLANO POLICE PROVIDE ID BRACELETS FOR KIDS AT FESTIVAL GATES

 

Officer Chris Bianez with the Plano Police Department’s Crime Prevention Unit discusses the upcoming safety at the InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival. If you’re bringing a child to the festival, make sure to get them registered at the gate. They’ll receive an ID bracelet with your cell phone written number on the back.  There will be two Lost Child booths on the festival grounds to help reunite parents with any children who may become separated from their families.

 

“Plano Balloon Festival has something for everyone.  Police and Fire personnel will be on hand for your safety and security. If you get a chance stop by our Crime Prevention Booth. We would love to meet you.”  Officer Chris Bianez

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INTOUCH CREDIT UNION PLANO BALLOON FESTIVAL CELEBRATING 40 YEARS OF BALLOONING

The InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival is celebrating 40 years of ballooning in Plano during the three-day weekend that begins September 20. This annual festival is held in the City of Plano, proudly known as the Official Hot Air Balloon Capital of Texas. More than 85,000 guests are expected to attend this 40th birthday party set in Plano’s largest park, the Oak Point Park & Nature Preserve.

 

“This is our birthday year and we are extremely excited about it! The InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival brings in pilots from all around the country and offers our community a low-cost, family fun event. The City of Plano does an outstanding job of supporting this event each year.” says Executive Director, Jo Via.

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6TH ANNUAL PLANO PEANUT BUTTER DRIVE

During the month of September the North Texas Food Bank is collecting regular-sized, plastic jars of peanut butter to help spread hope in Collin County. The InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival will accept donations at the entrance gates September 20-22, 2019 at Oak Point Park in Plano.  Admission is free for kids 36″ and under and $5 for ages 3-12 years.

The goal this year is for the City of Plano to collect 100,000 pounds of peanut butter. There are over 44,000 food insecure children in Collin County. The NTFB will accept peanut butter alternative donations during the food drive.

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INTOUCH CREDIT UNION PLANO BALLOON FESTIVAL VOTED BEST OF PLANO

The InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival is honored to be recognized as the Best Event/Festival by the readers of Plano Magazine! After 201,564 votes from online readers the Best of Plano Magazine 2019 winners have been officially announced.

 

The list of nominees for all categories were originally chosen by the Plano Magazine staff and contributors. These nominees were voted on by the public at PlanoMagazine.com to determine the winners with the most votes for each category. Voting was open through May 17 and then closed in preparation for the exciting reveal.

 

This is the third year that the InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival has been selected as the Best Event/Festival by readers and previously recognized in 2017 and 2018. Plano Magazine invited the Best of Plano to celebrate recently at The District at Willow Bend!

 

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AN UNLIKELY PILOT – GUY GAUTHIER

An Unlikely Pilot – Guy Gauthier written by Maridee Dietzel

 

Guy Gauthier was terrified. Being afraid of heights, he realized that taking a ride in a hot air balloon may not have been his best idea. He survived, but as he walked away, Guy declared, “I’ll never buy one of those things!”

 

He and his six brothers would pursue ground-level sports. However, after competing in motorcycle racing for a number of years, the siblings were looking for a new, less messy sport that they could participate in and still be clean enough to be welcome in restaurants or even in their homes. Several more refined pastimes were mentioned, such as hang gliding, sailing, speedboating, and yes, even ballooning.

 

That was on a Sunday evening. On Wednesday, Guy received a call from one of his brothers, telling him, “We just bought a balloon, and your part is $3000.”

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THE HOT BUSINESS OF BALLOON LOVE

“The Hot  Business of Balloon Love” written by Maridee Dietzel 

 

It began with a love story. Tamie Folley and Mike Shrum met at a ballooning event in the Philippines.  They shared a passion for ballooning, and about a year later, they began dating.

 

Fast forward to 2016 when they opened their business, Happily Ever After Balloon Company. Tamie was crewing for a friend in Albuquerque when he mentioned that he had an idea that may interest them. He had noticed the shirts Tamie and Mike’s crew wore when working their pink camouflage balloon; the shirts feature a heart with wings on it. The designer wanted to build a balloon in the shape of a heart, but not just an ordinary heart. This heart has personality!

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VOLUNTEER TURNED HOBBYIST KEITH BERRY TO PILOT FOX 4 NEWS BALLOON

By:  Amanda Fazzino

 

Balloon pilot Keith Berry caught a bug for hot air ballooning 29 years ago.  “I flew as volunteer crew at a balloon festival in Missouri in 1990,” Berry recalls. “I was immediately hooked!”

 

That one act of service launched a decades-long commitment to the sport.

 

“It’s one of the most awesome feelings to be free and in control of a 75 foot tall, 50 foot wide bubble of hot air floating through the sky,” Berry says. “It’s like being able to walk on air!”

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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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TEXAS RUNNER AND TRIATHLETE LISTS PLANO BALLOON RACE IN TOP 5K’S IN TEXAS

The Plano Balloon Festival 5K is ranked as one of the Top 5K’s in Texas by Texas Runner and Triathlete as seen featured in their Winter 2019 issue. Their list includes 34 races within the Lone Star State to receive recognition. If you’re wondering how many there are in Texas each year, then you might want to note that Running In The USA had 1,068 5K races on their calendar for 2018.  Only five of those are in the City of Plano.

 

“This race is worthy of being one of the top five 5K’s in Texas for several reasons and from varying perspectives.  For some participants it is all about the bling and our finisher medals are bright, colorful, big and feature a hot air balloon for each year of the race, so in 2019 we will have nine balloons on them.  For others it is about the festival atmosphere, there is so much to do and experience at the race plus it is very family friendly. For everyone it is about seeing hot air balloons launch above you as you are running/walking the course. These are just some of the things you can’t get at any other 5K in Texas.” – Eric Lindberg, Chief Running Officer of On Your Left! Marketing & Events.

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PILOT JOSH GOLL & “STAR STEPPER”

Pilot Josh Goll and “Star Stepper” are among the 50 hot air balloons and pilots that came to the 2018 InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival. Even though they loaded up and made the trip with his family, the Festival was cancelled due to flooding. We’d like to show you his beautiful balloon and share his story.

 

Let’s reflect back to  to 2017 and his first time on the Festival field as a pilot. It is quiet on a Sunday morning. The air is still, and the only sound is the intermittent hiss of a propane burner. The number 16 balloon, Star Stepper, glides southwest over the launch field toward a target spray painted on the grass. The pilot, Josh Goll, gets within feet of the giant red X marking the spot. He tosses a bean bag at the target, and the watching crowd break the silence to cheer his win. Goll expertly piloted his balloon so close to the target at the Festival Fly-In Competition that a spectator might forget the breeze is in control of its direction.

 

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