37 Hot Air Balloons and Pilots Include 9 Special Shapes to Glow at the H-E-B | Central Market Plano Balloon Festival on September 21-24
— Bill Broker, Hot Air Balloon Pilot
PLANO, TEXAS, USA, September 8, 2023/EINPresswire.com/ — A whirling rascal, bumblebee and spyderpig are among the fun-loving special shapes coming to the H-E-B | Central Market Plano Balloon Festival. Pilots and their colorful hot air balloons from across the country can be spotted on the field and High In The Texas Sky on September 21-24. This annual celebration of ballooning began in 1980 and Plano has since become the Official Hot Air Balloon Capital of Texas.
“We’re really excited about the incredible participation of pilots and crew this year. There are 37 hot air balloons, including nine awesome special shapes. We are ready to put on a great show for everyone to celebrate ballooning in Plano,” says Amy Leone, Balloon Operations Coordinator and Vice/Chair – Secretary on the Plano Balloon Festival Board of Directors.
The official list of participating hot air balloons and pilots are as follows:
IMON8 – Jeff Abel of Haslett, Texas
Dos Equis Beer – Scott Appleman of Scottsdale, Arizona
Highly Cool for Fox 4 – Keith Berry of Poplar Bluff, Missouri
Unifly – William Broker of Plano, Texas
Big Red Again – Joe Calabrette of Hickory Creek, Texas
Excellence – Amie Cato of Reno, Texas
Whisk Away – Amie Cato of Reno, Texas
Change – Michael Celentano of Frisco, Texas
Fire Dog – Brian Chase of Moscow, Pennsylvania
Rocky – Ricky Dillbeck of Interlachen, Florida
Haunted Mansion – Darrell Duer, Jr. of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Bullwinkle – Charles Edwards of Palm Harbor, Florida
Jersey Lilly – Bob Evans of Center, Texas
Aura – Mike Fielding of Oak Point, Texas
Joelly the Bee – Michael Glen of Mesa, Arizona
Texas – Joshua Goll of Longview, Texas
Up Rohr – Dave Griffin of Denton, Texas
Daz the Whirling Rascal – Matt Hurst of Coopersburg, Pennsylvania
Stardust – Mark Ibbotson of Grand Prairie, Texas
Lone Star – Jenny Karlovich of Little Elm, Texas
First Due – Clayton Kemp of Frisco, Texas
Wayback – Bill Kinser of Edmond, Oklahoma
Sky Sailor – Steve LeMay of McKinney, Texas
RE/MAX – Steve Lombardi of Edgewood, Texas
Fired Up Too – Michael Marx of Prosper, Texas
Olive – Janet Patton of Denton, Texas
Black Magic – Lauren Patton of Denton, Texas
Lulu the Leopard – William Randell of Coopersburg, Pennsylvania
Spyderpig – Matt Robison of Fort Worth, Texas
Spirit’s Rainbow – Michael Scott of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Northwind – Kerry Speicher of Longview, Texas
Mister Z – Dan Stukas of Central, South Carolina
Spirit of H-E-B – Scott Vesely of Frisco, Texas
Oh Well Oh Well – Dusty Weston of Lubbock, Texas
Lovin’ Life in the Air – Lowell White of Forney, Texas
Calypso – Eric Wiggins of Longview, Texas
Cosmic Crisp Apple – Steve Wilkinson of Palm Desert, California
“For 43 years the Plano Balloon Festival has been a beacon for balloon pilots all over the world,” states pilot Bill Broker. “The balloon glows are epic due to the natural amphitheater like seating area for the crowds to experience the event. It is a one of a kind setting that brings pilots back year after year. We are looking forward to creating a unique ballooning attraction.”
The Fox4 Main Stage includes a special concert by the Plano Symphony Orchestra, and live performances by Party Machine and Ice House. The H-E-B | Central Market Kids Fun Zone is open Thursday – Sunday with free craft activity stations in the Raising Cane’s Kids Korner Art Tent, inflatable slides, and exciting carnival rides. Around the Festival attendees will enjoy the RE/MAX Parachute Team, more than 30 food concessionaires, and shop arts and crafts vendors. Tethered rides in a hot air balloon are available during the Festival.
*Hot Air Balloon Displays, including launches, static displays, glows, and tether rides may be restricted due to adverse weather conditions or wind speeds that exceed safety levels. Hot-air balloons are ONLY in the Park during the scheduled balloon activity dates and times.
Festival Dates & Hours
September 21 – 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
September 22 – 4:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
September 23 – 6:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
September 24 – 6:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Tickets & Parking
Admission, tickets and parking pricing are as follows:
• $10 General Admission
• $5 Kids Ages 3-12
• $5 Seniors 65 and Over
• FREE for Kids 36” and Under
• $10 Off-site Parking and $15 Prime Parking
• $20 All Day Kids Fun Zone Ride Wristband
• $2.50 Per Ride Kids Fun Zone
• $20 Kids Ages 6-12 Tethered Hot Air Balloon Ride
• $30 Tethered Hot Air Balloon Ride
• $50 VIP Plano Symphony Orchestra Concert
The H-E-B | Central Market Plano Balloon Festival is sponsored by H-E-B, Central Market, RE/MAX, the City of Plano, Dos Equis, FOX 4 and MORE 27. More information is available at www.planoballoonfest.org and also posted to Facebook and Instagram.
The Plano Balloon Festival, Inc. takes place in an outdoor, uncovered venue and has a NO REFUND POLICY. In the unlikely event the Festival is suspended or cancelled due to inclement weather, city, state, national, or local public health concerns/restrictions, force majeure or other causes beyond Festival control there will be no refunds or a rescheduled date. When severe weather conditions exist in close proximity to the Festival grounds, we may choose to delay the event for an hour or more, before deciding to cancel or proceed. The onsite attendees safety is our primary concern. If weather conditions dictate, we may have to cancel a specific day’s activities. If the weather conditions improve, we will evaluate the forecast and re-open the Festival.
About Plano Balloon Festival, Inc.
The Plano Balloon Festival, Inc. is a non-profit 501c3 organized 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 $3 million since inception.