U.S. National Hot Air Balloon Championship


The Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission will host the U.S. National Hot Air Balloon Championships in July. Organizers held a news conference Thursday at LSU Shreveport where both the Red River Balloon Rally and the national championships will be held.

Gary Borders

I walk three-and-a-half miles every morning, accompanied by Sam, our dimwitted but lovable poodle mix.

The alarm goes off at 5:30. I jump up and get out the door in 15 minutes, a half-cup of coffee and a large swig  of Diet Coke in my gullet to jumpstart my brain. I know that sounds gross, but it works for me.

I listen to Red River Radio on my iPhone while I walk to get a headstart on the news. Except for the other morning. No matter how many times I tried, I couldn’t make it work. I then tried pulling in KUT, the Austin

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The U.S. National Hot Air Balloon Championship is on as scheduled Thursday in Longview after being grounded for the past two days due to poor weather conditions. The pilots are now trying to rapidly complete the tasks of the competition.

When Mother Nature interferes in a multi-day ballooning competition, the stakes get higher. The pilots must complete tasks each day of the competition in order to rack up a higher score. When there are fewer days to fly, there are fewer tasks to complete. This makes the remaining tasks all the more important.

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A week of hot air balloon events will draw dozens of racers and enthusiasts to East Texas this week. The colorful balloons are being spotted over Longview today.

The events include the 36th Great Texas Balloon Race and, in its second year in Longview, the U.S. National Hot Air Balloon Championship.  According to the Longview News Journal, 76 pilots are set to compete in both races this week and that will mean an infusion of tourism dollars for East Texas cities.