Great Forest Park Balloon Race returns to Central Field

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ST. LOUIS - The 47th Great Forest Park Balloon Race is a free, family fun weekend held at Forest Park. This year, it is returning to the popular Central Field.

Seventy hot air balloons will fill the skies of St. Louis with the ever-popular balloon glow which has been held for 27 years. The annual event is a year-long planning process. Strategy meetings begin a year out with advertising, along with the production of posters, stickers, hats, etc.

"We're really happy that we are back on Central Field this year,” says John Nickel, a partner with the race. “Art Hill was beautiful but Central Field allows us to have a lot more balloons and a lot more space for families."

The move to Art Hill was made the last two years due to renovation work of Central Field. During the race, the designated "hare" balloon will take off first. Once the hare balloon lands, its crew will lay a giant "X" out on the ground as a target. The other balloons will then take off in three waves and drop a bean bag out of their balloon to get as close to the "X" target as possible.

“It's really beautiful to watch the balloons against the Chase Park Plaza or the buildings in the central west end and watch them fly over the city," says Nickel.

The Great Forest Park Balloon Glow and Race will be held the weekend of September 20th and 21st, again returning to Central Field. It is a free event. Visit for more information.

Fox 2 and KPLR 11 are proud sponsors of the Great Forest Park Balloon Race.


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