You've got to get up early (like way before dawn early) to enjoy the spectacular sights of the Great Reno Balloon Race.
High above Reno in a hot air balloon during the Great Reno Balloon Race. Photo © Stan White.
Two events, the Glow Show and Dawn Patrol, occur while it's still dark. For the mass ascension, over 100 hot air balloons begin inflating their envelopes as the night sky gives way to early morning light. By the time daylight arrives, the sky is punctuated with an amazing variety of colorful balloons, from the conventional round ones to specialty shapes such as a Bald Eagle, Smokey Bear, Wells Fargo Bees Lilly and Joey, the Energizer Bunny, and returning in 2012, Darth Vader.
The Great Reno Balloon Race is a free family event, running from Friday, September 7 through Sunday, September 9. You can register to participate in two events on Saturday morning, September 8 - the Bed Head Competition and the World's Largest Pajama Party. Check the Schedule of Events to find out more about everything going on during the event at Rancho San Rafael Park in Reno.
If this will be your first time at the Great Reno Balloon Race, be sure to read "Spectator & Parking Information for the Great Reno Balloon Race" for details about attending the event. Most people arrive while it's still dark, so knowing about parking and getting to the balloon launch field will make attending safer and more fun.
Hot air balloon flying is dependent on the weather. If it's too windy or there are other adverse conditions, some activities may be curtailed or even grounded. It's a good idea to check the weather forecast before heading out.
There are many more events, both big and small, to enjoy this month. Visit September Events and Festivals to see what else is going on.
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