15th Annual Central Florida Balloon Rally

The Gentle Giants return to DeLand on Saturday and Sunday, March 27th and 28th. The annual return of these wingless giants of flight marks the 15th Annual Central Florida Balloon Rally. This years event will be held in conjunction with the DeLand Outdoor Art Festival, being held the same weekend at Earl Brown Park in downtown DeLand. To date, sponsors include The Orlando Sentinel, The West Volusia Tourism Advertising Authority and Sprint PCS. This year's rally will bring 15 to 20 Hot-Air-Balloons from all over the United States.

Most pilots are from the Sunshine State, with some traveling from as far away as Pennsylvania and Louisiana. Weather permitting, Balloons will take to the air on both Saturday and Sunday morning at sunrise (7:00 A.M.), from the DeLand Municiple Airport on International Speedway Boulevard (U.S. Highway 92), just east of the city.

They will return for the legendary "Balloon Glow" Saturday night, also at the airport. This colorful and exciting evening begins at sunset, 6:00 P.M., as the balloons fire-up their burners, creating a giant colorful lightbulb effect. There is no charge to any of these ballooning activities thanks to the corporate sponsors.

Hot-Air-Balloon rides are available on a first-come, first served, space-available basis for this weekend. According to Balloonmeister Doug Gantt flying in a seven-story-tall, multi-colored hot-air-balloon is the thrill of a lifetime. For a ride, contact Doug Gantt, or be at the DeLand Jaycees Tank at the airport, on Old Daytona Road, for Pilot Briefings beginning at 5:30 A.M.

For additional information regarding the Balloon Rally, contact Doug Gantt at (904) 736-1010. For further information on the Art Festival, call (904) 734-3243

See You There!






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