SLIDESHOW: KDF's Great Rush Hour Balloon Race lifts off over Lou - WDRB 41 Louisville News

SLIDESHOW: KDF's Great Rush Hour Balloon Race lifts off over Louisville

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Hot air balloons filled the sky over east Louisville on Friday morning. 

The Kentucky Derby Festival's Great Rush-Hour Race lifted off from Bowman Field with several dozen balloons.  The annual event gets the city ready for a festival filled weekend that includes the Great Balloon Race and the Marathon/mini Marathon on Saturday.

The Rush Hour race hare balloon landed on Edith Road in Clifton near Spaghetti Junction just before 8 a.m. 

The Great Balloon Glow is planned Friday night at the Kentucky Fair and Expo Center. The event is free with a Pegasus Pin and the $8 KEC parking fee.  Gates open at 6 p.m. and the glow begins at 9 p.m. The event features food, vendors and plenty of balloons. It draws an estimated 50,000 people each year. The public is invited to walk around the field and talk to the pilots. 

Saturday's 41st annual Great Balloon Race is in question because of expected wet weather. But the decision will be made early about whether to launch the race at 7 a.m., as planned.  Dozens of balloons take off from the Kentucky Expo Center for the annual tradition the weekend before the Kentucky Derby.  Just 7 balloons flew in the inaugural race from Iroquois Park in 1973.

The KDF Great Balloon Festival kicked off with a pair of events on Thursday night including the annual Glimmer. 

For more information about the Kentucky Derby Festival, CLICK HERE

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