Rush hour race fills morning sky with hot air balloons - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Rush hour race fills morning sky with hot air balloons

Balloons waiting for liftoff to chase the U.S. Bank hare balloon. Balloons waiting for liftoff to chase the U.S. Bank hare balloon.
The U.S. Bank balloon takes to the sky. The U.S. Bank balloon takes to the sky.
David Wombwell David Wombwell
Charlie Hurst Charlie Hurst
Annie Maclean and her daughter, Caroline. Annie Maclean and her daughter, Caroline.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – With one week left to Oaks and Derby, race ready fans set up shop at Bowman Field to witness a race through the sky.

Staff with the Kentucky Derby Festival teamed with U.S. Bank to host the Great Balloon Rush-Hour Race. Pilots operated 27 hot air balloons in the hare and hound style race in which balloonist - deemed "hounds" - pursued the U.S. Bank balloon designated the "hare."

"The U.S. Bank balloon takes off first, figures out a good landing area, and they put a big "X" on the ground," said U.S. Bank President David Wombwell. "Then everyone else flies over the "X" and tries to drop a bag and get as close as possible."

"The goal today is to go find that U.S. Bank balloon," said Charlie Hurst.

With 35 years of flying experience, Hurst piloted the Mortenson Family Dental hot air balloon during the race, which drew spectators of all ages.

"It's the first thing we've done for Derby week this year," said Annie Maclean. "We're really excited."

Maclean and her 20-month-old daughter Caroline joined a crowd of dozens in the cold for the race which lifted off around 7:30 a.m. Wombwell credits Friday's turnout to the accessibility of the event.

"The Derby's a big event of course. It's hard for some people to go. The parade is hard to see, but everybody can come out on the field," said Wombwell.

The balloon festivities will continue Friday night with the Great Balloon Glow at the Kentucky Exposition Center. Gates are scheduled to open at 6 p.m. The event is set to begin at 9 p.m. Parking is $8.

Copyright 2013 WAVE News. All rights reserved.

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Police: father killed 5-year-old son, buried him in backyard

    Police: father killed 5-year-old son, buried him in backyard

    Friday, February 23 2018 5:09 AM EST2018-02-23 10:09:31 GMT
    Friday, February 23 2018 5:09 AM EST2018-02-23 10:09:31 GMT
    Police said a father beat his 5-year-old son to death with a shovel Wednesday, and then buried him in a backyard. (Source: WGCL/CNN)Police said a father beat his 5-year-old son to death with a shovel Wednesday, and then buried him in a backyard. (Source: WGCL/CNN)

    Police said a father beat his 5-year-old son to death with a shovel Wednesday, and then buried him in a backyard.

    More >>

    Police said a father beat his 5-year-old son to death with a shovel Wednesday, and then buried him in a backyard.

    More >>
  • 'Heartbroken' Kenworthy visits South Korean dog meat farm

    'Heartbroken' Kenworthy visits South Korean dog meat farm

    Friday, February 23 2018 3:05 AM EST2018-02-23 08:05:09 GMT
    Friday, February 23 2018 1:09 PM EST2018-02-23 18:09:25 GMT
    (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon). In this Friday, Feb. 23, 2018, photo, American freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy, left, and his boyfriend Matthew Wilkas watch dogs in cages at a dog meat farm in Siheung, South Korea. Kenworthy saved five stray dogs during the S...(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon). In this Friday, Feb. 23, 2018, photo, American freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy, left, and his boyfriend Matthew Wilkas watch dogs in cages at a dog meat farm in Siheung, South Korea. Kenworthy saved five stray dogs during the S...

    The Associated Press joined American freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy on a tour of a Korean dog meat farm that's about to be shuttered by the Humane Society International.

    More >>

    The Associated Press joined American freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy on a tour of a Korean dog meat farm that's about to be shuttered by the Humane Society International.

    More >>
  • Florida man yells 'murderers!' as he's executed for slaying

    Florida man yells 'murderers!' as he's executed for slaying

    Thursday, February 22 2018 8:24 PM EST2018-02-23 01:24:33 GMT
    Thursday, February 22 2018 11:47 PM EST2018-02-23 04:47:48 GMT
    (Florida Department of Law Enforcement via AP). This undated photo made available by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement shows Eric Scott Branch in custody. Florida is scheduled to execute Branch Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, for raping and killing a ...(Florida Department of Law Enforcement via AP). This undated photo made available by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement shows Eric Scott Branch in custody. Florida is scheduled to execute Branch Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, for raping and killing a ...

    Florida inmate yells 'murderers!' repeatedly as he's executed for his convictioin in 1993 rape and killing of a college student.

    More >>

    Florida inmate yells 'murderers!' repeatedly as he's executed for his convictioin in 1993 rape and killing of a college student.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly