Clouds ground balloons at Great Texas Balloon Race - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Clouds ground balloons at Great Texas Balloon Race


The hot air balloons at the Great Texas Balloon Race were missing from the skies over Longview on Tuesday. The balloons were not able to take off for their competition because of weather conditions, but organizers plan on continuing the event as scheduled for the rest of the week.

Beginning again on Wednesday, in the skies of East Texas, you can find these hot air balloons floating in the clouds. It's the 36th year of the race.

"We got the number one and number two ranked pilots in the world here. We have people who have won the world championships twice. We have people who have won the national championships five times," said Dr. Bill Bussey, the director of the Great Texas Balloon Race.

There are people from all over the country here to compete. Bussey himself has set 14 world records and 29 U.S. records.

"It's for all ages from 2 to 80. Everybody will have something to do. We have a kids entertainment area called Playland. We have a carnival set up. We will have food vendors and we will have arts and crafts. We will even have a petting zoo," said Larry Aldridge, the Director of Operations for the Great Texas Balloon Race.

The race is the perfect blend of entertainment and competition.

Ideal flying conditions for these balloons are clear skies, 4-8 mile per hour winds and cool temperatures because the balloon needs to be hotter than the outside temperatures to be able to lift.

This morning they could not fly due to low cloud coverage, but Dr. Bill Bussey predicts great weather in the forecast.

"The rest of the week looks good. It's a little bit questionable in the morning but I think it's going to be fine based on what I've already looked at and I've been following the weather all morning. It looks good," said Dr. Bussey.

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