Everything You Need to Know About the 2014 Kentucky Derby Festival Great Balloon Race
As a part of the Great Balloon Fest, which is an integral part of the Kentucky Derby itself, the Great Balloon Race was first held at Iroquois Park in 1973 with just seven racing balloons. Over the past forty years, it has become a beloved family tradition and a sight to behold. The Great Balloon Fest also stands as one of the most popular Kentucky Derby events, and has grown to become an entire weekend festival of hot air ballooning. Here is everything you need to know about the 2014 Kentucky Derby Festival Great Balloon Race.
Four Before: The Great Balloon Fest
The Great Balloon Fest consists of five different events, of which the Great Balloon Race is the last and most anticipated event in the sequence. This year, U.S. Bank will host the Great Balloon Fest, which runs from April 24 to April 26. Parking may or may not be free. Attendees who hold a Pegasus Pin will gain free admission to all events.
The Great Balloon Race is preceded by the excitement of four similar events. The festival kicks off with the Great Balloon Tour, which is a short, 30-minute balloon race. The action continues with the balloon viewing of the Great Balloon Glimmer at Waterfront Park, as well as the larger exposition of the Great Balloon Glow, which offers up-close viewings of balloons that are lit and rise above the ground to music. The first official balloon race is the Great Balloon Rush Hour Race, which occurs during the Friday morning rush-hour commute on April 25.
The Finale of the Fest: The Great Balloon Race
The Great Balloon Race, as the final event of the hot air balloon festival, is naturally the most exciting and hyped-up spectacle of this ongoing event. Occurring on the Saturday before the Kentucky Derby, families have the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors while watching an exciting and colorful show in the sky. Hot air balloons have never been more fun to watch, and your children will certainly agree. And with this event, which is commonly paired with the Kentucky Derby itself, families in Louisville fill this April weekend with unique and traditional outdoor fun.
This year, the Great Balloon Race will start at 7 AM on Saturday, April 26. This multi-docket race dazzles both the young and old who watch from below. The inaugural race started with only 7 balloons, and has grown in recent years to include over 30 balloons of different shapes and colors. This event takes place annually at Bowman Field, and although it happens early in the day, Louisville locals claim that attending is definitely worth setting the alarm clock.
Whether you and your family are hot air balloon enthusiasts or not, this event is something that is exciting and interesting for all, and once visited will likely become a yearly tradition. Get your family together and bring your children to the Great Balloon Race, if not all of the events that make up the balloon fest, and let them be dazzled by something magical happening in the sky.
About the Author: Joe Hayden is the Team Owner and Manager of the Joe Hayden Real Estate Team - Your Louisville Real Estate Experts!