The 24th Hot Air Balloon Regatta in Columbus, Kansas on October 11-13, 2013, weather permitting, begins with a balloon glow at dark in the industrial park on highway 69 and Merle Evans Drive. The balloons tether and inflate for about 30 minutes with the fireballs from their propane burners appearing to glow.
The Columbus, Kansas event is the only hot air balloon rally in the 4-states. Beginning with a possible launch on Saturday at just after 7 a.m., the race will last about two hours and fly over parts of Columbus, Cherokee County and possibly into Missouri or Oklahoma depending on the wind currents.
This is a hare and hound race. A lead balloonist (the hare) will depart 15 minutes before the other balloonists (the hounds) and place a large X on the ground somewhere. The object is for one of the hounds to drop a designated throw as close to the X as possible without the basket touching the ground. This type of race will be repeated again on Saturday evening after 5 p.m. and on Sunday morning at sunrise.
A parking fee of $1 per person, $5 limit per car, will be collected. Visitors are requested to not interfere with departure of the chase vehicles.