Great Mississippi River balloon race

Every year, in October, the city of Natchez, Ms. holds the Great Mississippi River balloon race.It starts Friday night with a balloon glow and a fireworks show. The only problem I saw was the crowds, lines and the parking. We found a spot a couple of blocks away and paid to get in. Next time I wouldn’t pay to get into the balloon glow as there are other balloons at various sites around the city and Vidalia. There is a small carnival held on the grounds for the children.

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Click the photo to see it larger

Click the photo to see it larger

Click the photo to see it larger

When we arrived some of the balloons had already taken flight.

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Click the photo to see it larger

Click the photo to see it larger

We left before dark because the schedule said the fireworks would start at 7 PM. I asked a security guard where they would actually shoot the fireworks and he said “From a barge, in the river, just north of the bridge. We headed for an old parking lot just north of the fair grounds. There is a fence, sidewalk and overlook of the river.

Click the photo to see it larger

Click the photo to see it larger

Click the photo to see it larger

Click the photo to see it larger

I took the shots while waiting. What we didn’t know was they had to wait for a 30 minute window in the river barge traffic. That meant it was almost 9 PM when the fireworks started.

Click the photo to see it larger

Click the photo to see it larger

Click the photo to see it larger

It really was a good show they put on.

The next day we were going for the “Key grab” balloon flight. They put a key, to a new GMC truck, on top of the rock climbing tower and if a balloon pilot could grab it they won the truck. We went to the Vidalia side to have the sun behind us and sit on the River Walk. The balloons have to have a 5MPH or less wind to take off so it was after 5 PM when they did.

Click the photo to see it larger

Click the photo to see it larger

Click the photo to see it larger

Click the photo to see it larger

Click the photo to see it larger

We had a good time and saw some very colorful balloons.

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