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
Continue reading “SPECIAL SHAPE HOT AIR BALLOONS & PILOTS”
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!
Continue reading “INTOUCH CREDIT UNION PLANO BALLOON FESTIVAL VOTED BEST OF PLANO”
We’re marching into the six month countdown for the Plano Balloon Festival Races with the unveiling of the 1K and 5K finisher medals! The 9th Annual PBF Races include custom finisher medals for each distance that reflect a hot air balloon for each year.
These three inch custom medals were designed by Running Awards & Apparel and have unique features on each one. The 1K finisher medal is blue with 11 colors and jump ring attachment to the satin printed ribbon.
Continue reading “PBF RACES UNVEILS 5K AND 1K FINISHER MEDALS”
Ascend into Spring and sign-up for early runner registration for the Plano Balloon Festival Races. Early registration for the Half Marathon, 10K, 5K, 1K, Elevate Challenge, and Sky High Challenge ends on March 31st. Starting in April the prices increase up to $15 more per distance.
The Plano Balloon Festival Races will be held Saturday, September 21, 2019 and Sunday, September 22, 2019 at the InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival. The race location is at Oak Point Park and the Course Maps give details about water stations, starting/finish lines, mile markers and restrooms.
Continue reading “ASCEND INTO SPRING AND START TRAINING FOR THE PLANO BALLOON FESTIVAL RACES”
Love is soaring with savings for the Plano Balloon Festival Races and there’s much to love about early registration fees. The Sky High Challenge will have your heart racing when you complete the 5k on Saturday, September 21 and the Half Marathon on Sunday, September 22. Or get that heartbeat fluttering with the Elevate Challenge when you complete the 5K and 10K distances.
Continue reading “LOVE IS SOARING WITH SAVINGS FOR PLANO BALLOON FESTIVAL RACES”
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.”
Continue reading “COMMERCIAL PILOT SCOTT VESELY MAKES RETURN FLIGHT BACK TO PLANO”
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.
Continue reading “TEXAS RUNNER AND TRIATHLETE LISTS PLANO BALLOON RACE IN TOP 5K’S IN TEXAS”
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.
Continue reading “PILOT JOSH GOLL & “STAR STEPPER””
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.
Continue reading “CHARITABLE SPIRITS LIFT UP THE PLANO BALLOON FESTIVAL”
The InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival & Races include more than 3,000 volunteers that serve in various roles taking tickets, driving shuttles, crewing for pilots, and more. For the fourth year in a row the Craig Ranch Running Club has stepped up to go the distance in a capacity that includes 13.1 miles. This trained group of runners, led by Captain Rick Johnson, will provide on-site support as the Pace Team for the Plano Balloon Festival Half Marathon participants.
If you’ve never run a half marathon then you probably don’t understand why other runners would need volunteers to actually run alongside you. However, there are thousands who started with a 1k and eventually find themselves at the starting line of a half marathon. They likely trained with a group and will be prepared for the challenge. But, maybe they have a personal goal in mind. Continue reading “CRAIG RANCH RUNNING CLUB LEADS HALF MARATHON PACE TEAM”