SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) - Organizers are gearing up for the 2016 Red River Balloon Rally.
Thursday, city leaders gathered at LSU Shreveport to announce this summer's U.S. National Hot Air Balloon Championship games.
"Our community has wanted a balloon festival back for years," said Kelly Wells, Vice President of the Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission.
But unlike balloon festivals from years ago, it was announced Thursday that the national championship will be held in Shreveport-Bossier for the next 3 years.
"To not only bring a balloon festival back, but add it to the 'Super Bowl' of hot air ballooning, is incredible," added Wells.
For the past four years, the championship has run concurrently with the Great Texas Balloon Race. Now, the expectation is the best balloonists in the country will compete in Northwest Louisiana for the championship.
Wells indicated they expect to see a crowd of at least 20,000 over the 6-day event.
Louisiana State University Shreveport's campus will be the host of the Red River Balloon Rally. The main events will be July 15 and 16 and will include two concerts with a Christian artist on Friday night and a country artist Saturday night, along with nightly balloon glows.
50 hot air balloons will start competing the week of July 14-21.
For more information, please visit the event's website here.