Louisiana Hot Air Balloon Championship

September 22, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

The Louisiana Hot Air Balloon Championships almost didn't take place this year.  After LSU's Pennington Biomedical Research Center announced that they would no longer host the event and the Louisiana Ballooning Foundation announced that they would not participate, a group of organizers from Ascension Parish decided to get together and keep the festival going.  I have more some of my favorite images from past years' events in my Hot Air Balloon collection. Louisiana Hot Air Balloon ChampionshipHot Air Balloons

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I watched these balloons as a kid on the State Fair Grounds and as an adult on the Pennington grounds.  I'm used to having a fixed location to hang out and watch everything that goes on.  This year's event was less organized than previous years.  If you wanted to watch the competition portion of the event, you had to check the Bring Hot Air Balloons to Ascension Parish Facebook page the morning of the event.  The viewing area for this year's competition was in a parking lot behind a fire station, sandwiched in between a dumpster and a wrecked car with the top cut off.  The pilots seemed to have no idea where to go after the competition was over and they were landing in parking lots, on the side of the road, and in unsuspecting homeowner's' back yards.

Lamar Dixon was the official site of the event, but the competition couldn't take place there and there was no mass ascension of balloons there in the evenings because it is too close to the chemical plants.  I'm glad Ascension Parish managed to keep the balloons around, but they have a lot of room for improvement.  Hopefully it will be better next year with a new location that can be used for all parts of the event.

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