25th annual Big Country Balloonfest lifts off at Redbud park


ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The first day of this year’s Big Country Balloonfest hosted a dazzling fire show by pilots flaring their engines after uncooperative winds left their balloons grounded for the evening.

Volunteers with Optimist Club Unlimited of Abilene spent the morning arranging the quarter-century’s old event with Robin Hicks, event chair, at the helm.

Unfavorable winds prevented the balloons from taking flight this afternoon. Even so, Hicks says spectators will still have plenty to enjoy if no wicker basket leave Key City soil in the next three days.

“Even if [pilots] can’t fly in the evening they’ll set their baskets out and do their burners,” said Hicks.

The display is truly amazing, with every pilot’s lever shooting blue and orange flame several feet into the air.

This evening, guests were even treated to an inflated Remax balloon which was held down by tethers and several volunteers weighing down its basket preventing lift off. They also enjoyed a petting zoo, multiple inflatable attractions and even paddle boats.

Festivities continue through Saturday and Sunday. Find a complete list of this weekend’s schedule by clicking this link.

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