Balloon glow shines bright light on balloon festival
GONZALES- Hot air balloon pilots lit the burners on their balloon, illuminating the twilight festival grounds of the Lamar Dixon Expo Center Friday evening.
The balloon glow was part of the festivities of opening night. The event continues Saturday with a balloon flight competition at 7 a.m. More than 30 balloons will fill the skies of Ascension Parish this weekend with bright purples, reds, oranges and yellows as pilots compete in a target competition over Central Primary School.
It is the third year the balloons are in Ascension. Festival organizers had a rough, money-losing experience in 2013 but promised 2014 would be different. Changes have helped the event operate in the black this year.
The event will also prove a point for parish leaders who are trying to build a new, four-lane highway to the festival grounds. The parish council was hoping to get a grant to cover the $10 million cost but were unsuccessful. Leaders have said their needs to be a wider route to Lamar Dixon instead of small, two-lane streets leading to the facility from La. 30.