IMAGES: Colorful balloons fill the skies during Louisville's Gre - WDRB 41 Louisville News

IMAGES: Colorful balloons fill the skies during Louisville's Great Balloon Rush-Hour Race

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) - Drivers in the Friday morning commute got to enjoy a sky full of hot air balloons during the Kentucky Derby Festival's Great Balloon Rush-Hour Race.

All the balloons took off from Bowman Field at about 7 o'clock Friday morning.


The Great Balloon Rush-Hour Race is a Hare & Hound Race.

One balloon took off first and is the Hare balloon (U.S. Bank Balloon piloted by Scott McClinton).

The other balloons are called the Hounds, and they launched at a predetermined time after the hare (usually 5 to 10 minutes after). The Hare lands at a suitable site and lays out a large fabric X, usually about 50 feet in diameter.

The Hound balloons attempt to drop their markers as close to the center of the X as possible. The closest marker achieves the highest score.

The balloons started landing in Shawnee Park in Louisville around 8 a.m. 

Just seven balloons flew in the inaugural race from Iroquois Park in 1973.

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