2016 InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival Preview

Every year, for three days in September, North Texans and hot air balloon enthusiasts descend upon Oak Point Park for the InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival. This year marks the 37th anniversary for the festival, which will be held September 23-25, 2016.

If you’ve never been to the Plano Balloon Fest, this is the year to check it out. See for yourself why it was voted as the Best Festival in Plano by Plano Magazine readers.

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Indulge your inner Augustus Gloop and feast on fair foods galore–funnel cakes, corny dogs, turkey legs, lemonade, mini donuts, roasted corn and more. But leave your koozies at home, this family-friendly fest is alcohol-free.

Shop a multitude of vendors who line the festival grounds, hawking everything from jewelry, coin purses and cowboy hats to handcut crosses and bedazzled balloon tees. Bring your kids to burn off steam at the Central Market kids’ fun zone. Lay back and enjoy concerts on the KLUV Main Stage all weekend.

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The main attraction is, of course, the 40+ hot air balloons that will color the skies over the weekend. In addition to dozens of the colorfully patterned traditional balloon shape, plenty of special shapes will join the festivities, including Joelly the Baby Bee, Betty Jean the Butterfly, the Flying Purple People Eater, Baby Dino, Bimbo Bear (new this year) and even more.

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Before each scheduled balloon launch, the pilots have to access weather and wind conditions. In the case that launching is deemed unsafe, the balloons will usually stay tethered to the ground, but inflate and turn on their burners to entertain the crowd. The scheduled balloon glows at 8pm Friday and Saturday nights are a can’t-miss affair. That goes for the spectacular fireworks show on Saturday night. Make sure to bring your picnic blanket and camera.

Tethered balloon rides will be available for those who want to experience the feeling of leaving the ground. Tickets are cash only and available on site. Another exciting tradition is watching the Re/Max parachute team jump from its plane to land in the launch field, all three days at 5:30pm.

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General admission is $5 per person. Seniors 65 and older are $4. Kids 36 inches and under are free. Parking is additional. A one day pass for unlimited inflatable and mechanical rides in the kids’ fun zone is $20.

Visit the Balloon Fest website for the full schedule, ticket prices, parking info and more.

Balloon Fest Website >
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