The Great Reno Balloon Race (GRBR) prepares to captivate its many spectators during the 38th annual event Sept. 6 through Sept. 8 at Rancho San Rafael Regional Park in Reno, Nev. This internationally recognized event and beloved local tradition remains the world’s largest free hot-air ballooning festival.
“There is something about waking up early, bundling up in blankets, and staring up at these magnificent balloons,” said Executive Director of GRBR Pete Copeland. “Every single year, much like the spectators, I am drawn in by the pure magic of the event — of the spectacular balloons and the memories that I know families and friends are making.”
Before the sun peeks over the mountains, spectators will see the daily iconic Glow Show illuminating the park with a soft warm light — a signal that the event has begun. During the Show, the early morning sky will be decorated by the choreographed glow of upwards of 40 hot-air balloons.
It’s not until dawn, that seven hot-air balloons lift off the ground to perform Dawn Patrol. Only a few pilots in the world can perform this skilled show, stamping this event a must-see for all attendees. This year, Dawn Patrol will be held all three days of the event. At Mass Ascension, the remaining balloons rise and fill the park with an array of colors and shapes while the sun rises.
New this year, Sunday, Sept. 8 will be in recognition of Donor Awareness Day, attendees should wear blue and green in support of this cause.
Spectators will see a variety of special-shaped balloons, including new-to-the-event special shapes: Billy the Kid, Jack the Pirate, Pumpkin, Simba. Returning special shapes include: Darth Vader; Miss Bell, a replica of the Liberty Bell; Wells Fargo’s Cent’r Stage; Smokey Bear, Aaron, an Elvis Tribute Balloon; and Tic Toc, a giant clock. Click here to download photos of these special shapes.
About The Great Reno Balloon Race:
The Great Reno Balloon Race (GRBR) is the world’s largest free hot-air ballooning event. The event has floated into the hearts and minds of Reno’s visitors and locals alike for the past 37 years. With upwards of 100 balloons and 120,000+ in attendance each year, the event is a permanent fixture in Reno’s Sept. skyline. GRBR is a nonprofit organization offering free admission because of its sponsorship support. For more information, visit renoballoon.com, or find them at Facebook.com/TheGreatRenoBalloonRace or Twitter @RenoBalloonRace.