2014 Great Balloon Race launches in sunny weather Saturday - WDRB 41 Louisville News

2014 Great Balloon Race launches in sunny weather Saturday

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Great Balloon Race took off in near perfect conditions from Bowman Field Saturday morning.

The work starts before sunrise and it makes the views of the sunrise breath-taking for those on the ground and in the air. The balloons are sent off by a crowd of early risers at the fairgrounds. 

"Good ride. Looks like were going to squeeze it in between another front coming through and some rain," balloon pilot Charlie Hurst said before the race Saturday morning. "The timing is just perfect." 

Charlie Hurst took WDRB's Danielle Lama up in the Mortenson Family Dental balloon. He's been doing this for 38 years and carried Danielle hundreds of feet above the ground.

"The wind's power is taking us straight to the east and then as we drop down low, were going more to the north and north east so that's the only way we can steer the balloon," Hurst says.

The Great Balloon Race is the last of the BalloonFest Events. It's also been running the longest, since 1973. Like in many years past, spectators looked to the balloons moved toward Tom Sawyer Park. 

Karen Brown was one of many local spectators who decided to trek out to the finish line. "All of a sudden I heard that it was going to be at tom sawyer, well I live in park place, so i came over," Brown said. "And here i am. So exciting!"

"What do you love about this event?" Lama asked Karen. "Because it's so colorful and it involved our community," Brown replied.

Jasper Engines and Transmissions placed first at this year's race, followed by Re-Max and park Community Federal Credit Union.

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