Plano's Balloons Finally Get Off the Ground

Monday, Sep 23, 2013  |  Updated 8:05 AM CDT
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It was starting to feel like 2011 all over again… the most recent year there was no balloon launch during In Touch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival.  This is the 34th year of the event.

Mark Schnyder, NBC 5 News

It was starting to feel like 2011 all over again… the most recent year there was no balloon launch during In Touch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival. This is the 34th year of the event.

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It was starting to feel like 2011 all over again… the most recent year there was no balloon launch during In Touch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival.  This is the 34th year of the event.

"They didn't go up Saturday or Friday so yes, I'm glad they went up today," said Tyrun Gray of Dallas who was enjoying the event with his father as a spectator and vendor. 

Friday's rain and Saturday's wind left the festival with perfect conditions Sunday morning for hot air balloons to rise with the sun. 

It's absolutely beautiful,” said Nichelle Keithley of Wylie who brought her 3-year old daughter, Ella.  “The colors are so vibrant and it's just captivating to see all the balloons in the sky."

"It's all about the weather and sometimes Mother Nature smiles on us and sometimes not so much but today's gorgeous," said event organizer Jo Via.

Some visitors to Oak Point Park paid $275 to go up in some of the 50 hot air balloons, but most stayed on the ground enjoying food and music and the first day of fall.

"When you have an event that typically draws 100,000 people, a good many live in Plano but a good many don't, so it gives us an opportunity to showcase Plano,” said Via.

It's an annual highlight for a city that enjoys the nickname, "Hot Air Balloon Capital of Texas." 

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