Louisiana Hot Air Balloon Championship returns to Gonzales - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Louisiana Hot Air Balloon Championship returns to Gonzales

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GONZALES, LA (WAFB) -

From now until Sunday, the Lamar Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales will be the home to 60 hot air balloon pilots from across the country for the second annual Louisiana Hot Air Balloon Championship.

Last year's event brought 60,000 people to the expo center to see the balloons, meet the pilots and enjoy the food and entertainment.

Organizers say they are expecting a big turnout to the championship this year too---especially since this year's Gonzales competition can qualify pilots for national races later.

"This is one of the largest prize money packages in the country now, and so we have great balloonists coming in. The competition's going to be very stiff, very fun," said Kinnie Gibson, a hot air balloon pilot from Dallas. "So with the food, the people and the other pilots coming in and the competition - we wouldn't miss it."

It started Thursday and runs until Sunday. The first competition flight Friday was at 7 a.m. The gates at Lamar Dixon close at noon. They will reopen at 2:30 p.m. A fireworks display is scheduled for 8:30 p.m.

Click here to send in pics of the balloons

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