Derby Festival events continuing as planned, officials wary of c - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Derby Festival events continuing as planned, officials wary of changing weather

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- There was a change of plans for the Great Balloon Race, but the Balloon Glow went on as planned as officials kept an eye on the sky at all times.

The balloon race had to be moved to Friday evening after weather concerns pushed it a day ahead of schedule.

"Every year we want to get as many of our balloons off as we can," Derby Festival spokesperson Aimee Boyd said.

With the threat of severe weather Saturday afternoon, the Great Balloon Race was a little ahead of schedule.

"In most instances, the weather is either really good in the morning or really good in the evening. It's rare that we have all day great weather for ballooning," Boyd said.

Officials said Friday was one of those days, with two races during the day culminating in the Balloon Glow at the Expo Center after dark.

"This is the first one we've been to, but no one really wanted to go with us so we decided to come here," one Balloon Glow attendee said.

"We took the opportunity knowing that we didn't have a great shot to get the race off in the morning and even Sunday looked a little bit iffy," Boyd explained.

Concerns still remain for officials with the Kentucky Derby Festival, with several events still scheduled for Saturday. However, they say the marathon should on as planned Saturday morning.

"Runners are used to the rain," Boyd said. "They know how to prepare for that so we won't cancel the race."

The future of other events is still in question

"We do have a concert - Blues Traveler [Saturday] night. And the chow wagon, and if we need to delay anything or change anything we'll announce that as it comes," Boyd said.

Kentucky Derby Festival officials will remain in close contact with the National Weather Service throughout the day on Saturday, as well as other local agencies.

"We work with them, MetroSafe, EMS, EMA -- We work with everyone to make sure our events are safe for everyone coming out and for everyone participating,"

As of now the plan is to still have all events Saturday continue as planned.

"You never know, in 24 hours we could be looking at something totally different," Boyd said.

Festival officials say they'll meet and discuss the weather and if any changes need to be made to the schedule Saturday morning.

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