April 29, 2017 Louisville, KY. – Derby Festival Officials continue to monitor the weather for the U.S. Bank Great Balloon Glow, which was rescheduled for tonight at 9 p.m. at the Kentucky Exposition Center. While no inclement weather is expected, there is still a potential for high winds. Festival Officials want to make sure patrons know the winds could impact how much the balloons will glow.
“We want balloon fans and their families to come out and join us for our final ballooning event. But, we also want to make sure they know if there are high winds in the area, it could prevent some balloons from glowing or limit access to the balloon field,” said Mike Berry, KDF President and CEO.
The Glow is scheduled for tonight at 9 p.m. at the Kentucky Exposition Center. Gates will open at 6 p.m. and the parking fee is $8. Admission to the event is free with a 2017 Pegasus Pin. If wind conditions are good, the balloon pilots will fire their burners, making the balloons glow against the night sky synchronized to a musical score provided by 106.9 PLAY. The event will also be broadcast live by WLKY TV on MeTV Louisville 32.2.
Earlier today, the balloonists and sponsors were honored at the U.S. Bank Great BalloonFest Awards Luncheon for their years of consecutive participation in the Festival’s balloon events. Pilots Nick Donner and Bill Smith were honored for their participation for 15 straight years. In addition, the balloon sponsors were also honored for their consecutive years of participation. U.S. Bank was honored for 15 years of participation in the annual BalloonFest. Also at today’s luncheon, the American Red Cross was presented a $1,000 check from the Kentucky Derby Festival’s Foundation. The donation was part of the U.S. Bank Derby Festival Great Balloon Charity Race.
This morning’s U.S. Bank Great Balloon Race was cancelled due to inclement weather. The front runner from Friday’s U.S. Bank Great Balloon Rush Hour Race was declared the winner of this year’s BalloonFest – the Zaxby’s balloon, piloted by Nick Donner – and won a free entry for the 2018 U.S. Bank Great BalloonFest.
PLACE BALLOON PILOT DISTANCE
FIRST Zaxby’s Nick Donner 19 feet, 10 inches
SECOND SULLAIR Shawn Raya 29 feet, 10 inches
THIRD U.S. Bank Tony Sandlin 82 feet, 10 inches
FOURTH Bluegrass Pain Consultants Bill Smith 92 feet, 2 inches
FIFTH Bee Line Courier Service Michael Stinson 179feet,11 inches
Since the first Great Balloon Race was held in 1973, the Derby Festival’s balloon events have been considered among the best in the country by pilots from all around the world. BalloonFest attractions are annually among the most popular family-friendly events on the Derby Festival schedule.
The Kentucky Derby Festival Great BalloonFest is sponsored by U.S. Bank with Contributing Sponsor V.G Reed & Sons. Q103.1 is the Media Sponsor of the Great Balloon Glimmer. 99.7 DJX is Media Sponsor of the Rush Hour Race and Great Balloon Race. 106.9 PLAY is Media Sponsor of the Great Balloon Glow. WLKY TV is the TV broadcast partner for the Glow.