Despite Forecast, Plano Police Plan for Big Crowds at Annual Balloon Festival

Winds blowing at more than 10 miles an hour Friday night kept hot air balloons on the ground at the annual InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival.

Still, organizers expect more than 100,000 people to attend the three-day festival, the largest event in Plano all year.

"A hundred thousand is always our goal," said festival organizer Jo Via. "Some years we hit it and go over, some years we're right around it."

Even with a four-hour rain delay on the second day of the festival last year, a record 60,000 people still attended that Saturday.

"For us, it is all about Mother Nature and what weather is going to do for us, and we live in Texas so it's subject to change very quickly," Via said.

Sunday's forecast calls for rain, which would also keep the big balloons grounded.

Several nearby streets will be closed this weekend, and Plano police will have a total of 70 officers helping with traffic.

At Plano City Hall, traffic managers can spot problems before they develop and alert police to keep cars moving.

"We're able to look several intersections away from the site to see what's coming and what's going. That assists them to coordinate what should be done to control and manage the traffic," said Lloyd Neal, transportation engineering manager with the city of Plano.

The 37th annual event is being held at Oak Point Park, located at 2801 East Spring Creek Parkway, Plano, TX, 75074.

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