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Standley White

Great Reno Balloon Race takes to the skies

By September 3, 2013

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You've got to get up real early (like way before dawn early) to enjoy the spectacular sights of the Great Reno Balloon Race that only happen before the sun comes up.

Big crowds enjoy the Great Reno Balloon Race, Nevada, NV
Big crowds enjoy the Great Reno Balloon Race in Reno, Nevada. 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, the Wells Fargo stagecoach, the Little Bees Lilly and Joey, the Energizer Bunny, and Darth Vader. Among those new to the 2013 event will be Hummingbird Jewel and Spider-Pig.

The Great Reno Balloon Race is a free family event, running from Friday, September 6 through Sunday, September 8. You can register to participate in two events on Saturday morning, September 7 - 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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