HOT AIR BALLOON TETHERED RIDES AT INTOUCH CREDIT UNION PLANO BALLOON FESTIVAL

Tethered rides at InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival (photo credit: David Downs Photography)
Tethered rides at InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival (photo credit: David Downs Photography)

Live life in color and take a tethered ride in a hot air balloon at the 2017 InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival that will be the weekend of September 22-24 at Oak Point Park. A tethered ride is when the hot air balloon lifts up and off the ground, it then hovers 20-30 feet above the field for several minutes, but the balloon won’t launch or fly away into the sky. This is a unique opportunity to experience the sensation of being in a hot air balloon with a licensed pilot. Continue reading “HOT AIR BALLOON TETHERED RIDES AT INTOUCH CREDIT UNION PLANO BALLOON FESTIVAL”

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

Continue reading “MOVING COLORS PRESENTED BY VERIZON & LIMELIGHT PRESENTED BY DIRECT ENERGY SEPTEMBER 22-23”

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.

Continue reading “CENTRAL MARKET HOSTS FESTIVAL PREVIEW & PHOTOGRAPHER DRAWING”

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

Volunteer to Crew with Hot Air Balloon Pilots Sept 23-25

Balloon Chase Vehicle
Balloon Chase Vehicle

Pilots participating in the 2016 InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival are in need of crew volunteers the weekend of September 23-25, 2016.  Each hot air balloon requires a minimum of three people and up to 15 depending on the size of the balloon.

No experience is necessary for this hands-on opportunity to assist with the unloading, set-up, inflation, launch, landings and deflations.  Volunteers who register quickly may attend the free crew training session being held with several balloons and pilots on Sunday September 18th at Oak Point Park. Volunteers working two shifts will also receive a 2016 Crew t-shirt featuring the “Dazzling Autumn Skies” logo.

Shifts typically range from 3 to 4 hours and balloon coordinators indicate all crew members should be able to push, shove or lift up to 50 lbs. Teenagers ages 15-17 can volunteer with a parent or guardian and community service hours may be earned for Eagle Scouts, Young Men’s Service League, and many other organizations.   All volunteers will meet at Collin Creek Mall and ride with the assigned pilot, and their hot air balloon, to and from the launch field.

Evening flight crews will be invited to enjoy a catered dinner and the Sunday flight includes brunch for all pilots and volunteers.  This year there will be random drawings on Friday and Saturday nights for $500 worth of gift cards to local restaurants and movie theaters.

The deadline to register as a balloon crew volunteer is September 18, 2016 and you may either email VolCrew@planoballoonfest.org or sign-up online: http://www.planoballoonfest.org/p/getinvolved/volunteers/registration

Timelapse video of Balloon Chase Crew by Chadwick Stelzl:

THE DOLPHIN IS A “SHE” BALLOON

Jason Myers, pilot and owner of The Dolphin Balloon Photo credit: The League Lady
Jason Myers, pilot and owner of The Dolphin Balloon
Photo credit: The League Lady

The Dolphin balloon owner Jason Myers is participating as a pilot for only the second time at the InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival.  Jason has volunteered as a crew member for other pilots for more than 10 years and currently resides in McKinney, Texas.  Last year Jason won 4th place in the Plano Balloon fly-in competition and was one of 40 balloons to set a World Record at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium for the “Most Hot Air Balloons Inflated Indoors.”

“My first flight in a hot air balloon was September 12, 1981 when my Aunt Gayle flew my Dad and I from Silver Springs Park in Stow to Brimfield in Ohio.  It got me hooked with a love for aviation and sport of ballooning,” recalls Jason Myers.  “In the pilot logbook under ‘Nature of Flight’ my Aunt Gayle simply wrote, ‘Fun.’ I recorded ‘coolest thing ever done’ in my mental logbook.”

The Dolphin Jason Myers
The Dolphin

According to Jason, The Dolphin is a “she” balloon because female dolphins are lighter than males, and in ballooning, the lighter the better.  Manufactured by Avian, The Dolphin is 60,000 cubic feet and a Falcon II.  The two dolphins swimming around were hand sewn onto the balloon in the basement of a church by friends and family.  There are more than 400 round “water bubbles” that his Aunt Gayle meticulously positioned and the light blue, green, yellow, and dark blue colors represent the ocean, land, sun and sky.

“I started flying and taking lessons when I was 16 years old.  I flew as a student pilot for many years and finally completed my Private Pilot’s license for Lighter than Air (LTA) classification in 2013.”

The Dolphin Balloon Basket
The Dolphin Balloon Basket

Jason adheres to a strict 3-Strike Rule explaining that if that many things go wrong before a flight then it’s best to stop the negative pattern before getting in the air and not fly at all.

On the flip side, hot air balloon newbies, upon completion of their first flight, receive the traditional glass of champagne (or sparkling cider) and Balloonist’s Prayer recited as the toast.  Concealed in The Dolphin basket, Jason always carries a sentimental memento of his Aunt Gayle, who lost a battle to cancer in 2001.

“I get a rush of excitement every time I lift off. The feeling of leaving the ground and becoming airborne is a rush that continues with every flight.”

Sharing a love of ballooning with the community is what Jason believes is the best part about the InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival. He enjoys answering questions about the balloon and the look in the eyes of children when they come up to the basket, watch the glow of the burners, and feel the heat.

“There’s something magical about the InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival because of the excitement and energy that it brings to people as they watch the balloons inflate, stand up, and lift-off into the sky,” explains Jason Myers.

Jason regularly drives The Dolphin to nearby fields within Collin County and logged approximately 30 flights in 2015.  He also owns and flies a larger Cameron balloon, that is 105,000 cubic feet, the “A.M. Sunrise” named for his daughter Abigayle Marie.  Outside of ballooning Jason is a Product Specialty Manager at Great Southern Wood that manufactures treated lumber and distributes construction material.

This summer The Dolphin inflated at Oak Point Park and below is a live video in real-time of Jason Myers and his balloon.  Make plans to see The Dolphin swimming on the field September 23-25, 2016 at the InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival www.planoballoonfest.org.

Honors Show Plano Is The Balloon Capital of Texas

This summer the Plano Balloon Festival, Inc. received an incredible list of honors during the marketing awards competition at the annual Texas Festivals and Events Association (TFEA) Conference in Austin, Texas. The awards given were for marketing materials designed for the event last year that was themed “Paint the Skies”.

More than 430 entries were submitted across this great State of Texas and we are so proud to have been recognized in multiple categories for our marketing efforts. The 1st Place honors included: Event Website, Best Promo Brochure, Best Misc Printed Material, Best Event Photograph, and Best Other Merchandise. The 2nd place honors included: Best Event Poster, Best Event T-Shirt Design, and Best Hat. The 3rd place honor was for Best T-Shirt Design.

This year the InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival includes a new theme “Alive with Color” to be held September 19-21, 2014 at Oak Point Park in Plano, TX. Additional details and the schedule of events for the festival are available here: http://www.planoballoonfest.org/event-information

Read the full press release published via PR Newswire Services on July 28, 2014: “Plano Balloon Festival, Inc. Receives Texas Marketing Awards”