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Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Balloonists take shots as competition soars

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GONZALES- The Louisiana Hot Air Balloon Championship is well underway as the country's top balloonist took the skies this morning for the first leg of the three day contest.

Competitors had a short period of time to make their way to the Lamar Dixon Expo Center through the air and hit a target on the ground with a colored bean bag.

"It's just amazing to watch these big things, how gentle they are, floating in ever so softly, perfect photo op, you can't beat it," said Jan Dastugue, who drove in from Diamondhead, Mississippi to see the balloons.

The festival also features several attractions for the kids and will boast a balloon glow and fireworks this evening. For a complete list of the scheduled events click here.

Organizers are also asking people to take special routes into the festival grounds. For the map from Baton Rouge click here, from New Orleans click here, and Gonzales click here.

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