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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ASCEND INTO SPRING AND START TRAINING FOR THE PLANO BALLOON FESTIVAL RACES

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.

 

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LOVE IS SOARING WITH SAVINGS FOR 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.

 

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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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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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SUNNYDAZE AHEAD FOR PLANO BALLOON FESTIVAL RACES

In the 39 years of producing the beloved Plano Balloon Festival, we have steadfastly measured success on two fronts – the number of people we are able to wow with the beauty of hot air balloons, and the dollars raised by the non-profits who rely on the success of the festival to meet their annual fundraising goals. Sadly, mother nature took it upon herself to intervene, and 2018 will not go down as a banner year on either front.

 

A three-day outdoor festival in Texas is a wildly ambitious endeavor, but we are not deterred.  Our mission is to provide nonprofit agencies an opportunity to raise funds and awareness for their programs and services, which ultimately enhances the quality of life for all North Texans.  The Festival has circulated more than 3 million dollars back into the Collin County and Plano community.  Supporters and friends of the Festival, people like you, choose to give through corporate sponsorship, ticket purchase or race participation so we can hold true to our mission year-after-year.

 

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CRAIG RANCH RUNNING CLUB LEADS HALF MARATHON PACE TEAM

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”

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

THE 10K RACE HAS A NEW FESTIVAL FINISH

Good news! The 10K race for 2018 is officially sold out with a maximum registration of 750 runners. Even better news is that the finish line for the 10K ends back at the festival.  The course originally had a route that started at the festival, north on Jupiter Road, southeast on Los Rios Blvd, and then a zig zag of more than 10 streets, to finish at Bob Woodruff Park and wait to be shuttled back to the festival.

 

“We are fortunate to discover a new section of trail that allows the 10K finish at the festival with the half marathon runners. The benefit is the 10K participants finish directly at the festival and don’t have to ride shuttles. They’ll have immediate access to the food, entertainment, and a chance to see the folks who came to cheer when they cross the finish line,” says Eric Lindberg, Chief Running Officer with On Your Left! Marketing & Events.

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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”