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.


Safety First, Adventure Second

Guest contributor: Susan Zacheis

“Safety first” has always been my motto as an overprotective mother of two. In addition to being a neurotic mother, I am also afraid of heights, so the thought of being miles above the ground in a hot air balloon was a little terrifying. However, my sense of adventure prevailed through the research for this blog.

I got up bright and early on a recent Saturday morning to be part of a volunteer crew training session with some of the pilots and their balloons. It was a beautiful sunrise at Oak Point Park with not a bit of wind, or so I thought. Keith Berry, pilot of “Highly Cool”, said they wouldn’t be able to hold the balloon competition because of the windy conditions. I was quite surprised and notably the first clue that these guys might just follow my “Safety First” motto. Continue reading “Safety First, Adventure Second”

Five Winning Photos “Alive With Color”

The InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival & Run held its first annual photo contest this summer and the judging concluded with five winning photographs. The contest was co-sponsored by AlleeOops Photography, owned by award-winning photographer, Janelle Twyford-Sylvis, who also serves as a member on the Plano Balloon Festival Inc. Board of Directors.

“AlleeOops Photography is proud to be a part of this new element of the festival. The winning photos reflect different aspects of ballooning and the emotions we all experience when we see them take flight,” said Janelle Twyford-Sylvis.

Adult (18 and over) professional and amateur photographers from across the nation submitted digital entries online through CallForEntry.org. The panel of judges convened at Corner Wines in Plano to vote for the top images in each category and the following winners were selected:

Most Creative – Amy Leone

Best Technical – Kelsey Kruzich

Best Elemental – Bre Fitzgerald

Best Aerial – Tayla Arbisser

Best of Show – Cece Liekar

The winning photographs will be printed and mounted by BWC Imaging, used for a touring photo exhibit, and on display September 19-21, 2014 at the InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival & Run.

Celebrating more than 35 years as a community non-profit, the Plano Balloon Festival, Inc. anticipates that thousands of new pictures will be captured this year by attendees. Photographers are invited to participate next year in the 2015 photo contest that will include new categories for additional age groups (17 and younger). The schedule of events for the festival may be found on the website: www.planoballoonfest.org.
Social tags


Twitter: @planoballoon

Instagram: #planoballoon
About Plano Balloon Festival, Inc.

The Plano Balloon Festival, Inc. is a non-profit 501c3 organized in 1987 for the purpose of staging a premier community-based and family-oriented hot air balloon event, offering other local non-profits volunteer opportunities within the Festival operations. The Plano Balloon Festival, Inc. makes a direct impact on the Collin County community by dispersing funds to participating non-profit agencies and has donated more than $2.5 million since inception.


Plano Balloon Festival Photo Contest

Professional and amateur photographers from across the nation have an opportunity to participate in the 2014 Inaugural InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival photo contest sponsored by the Plano Balloon Festival, Inc. and AlleeOops Photography. Media is limited to photography.


Digital photos must be submitted online through CaFE https://www.callforentry.org/ no later than July 15, 2014 along with the $28.00 fee for one entry. The two entry fee is $35.00. Entrants agree to enter their images via digital transmission at a maximum of 4000 pixels on the longest edge, 300 dpi.


Judging will take place on July 17, 2014 and winner notification will be no later than July 21, 2014. Winning images will be printed and mounted by BWC Imaging. These prints will be used for a touring photo exhibit and promotion of the event. The top five winning photographs will be on display at the festival September 19-21, 2014.


Entrants grant Plano Balloon Festival, Inc. the license to promote the festival using their photos.

Five Categories:

1) Under 18 (17 and younger) – Overall for Age Group

2) Under 18 (17 and younger) – Most Creative or Unusual in this Age Group

3) Adult (18 and older) – Overall for Age Group

4) Adult (18 and older) – Most Creative or Unusual in this Age Group

5) Overall Plano Balloon Festival Photo Contest Winner

For additional questions contact:

Janelle Twyford-Silvis: Photo Contest Coordinator 972-679-5742

Jo Via: Festival Executive Director 972-867-7566