SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS)- For the fifth year in a row the Red River Balloon Rally will go on as scheduled in the next week, but the annual event has been changed completely canceling its festival because of COVID-19 but it’s keeping the hot air balloons flying in the sky.
“The biggest change is that we are not having the festival aspect of the rally,” said Kelly Wells, executive director of Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission.
And it’s due to social distancing for safety reasons, but even though there won’t be a festival on the ground, balloons will still fill the sky.
“10-12 balloons to fly over the Shreveport-Bossier area, they’re not able to fly over the whole Shreveport-Bossier area.
Something new this year evening flights on Friday and Saturday. And you can watch the hot air balloons from the comfort of your own home or out at a park.
“I-49 from about Southern Loop all the way to north Bossier 220 area. So the goal is to have them fly kind up the I-49 corridor.”
But even though the hot air balloons are still taking flight the rally itself is taking a financial hit.
“We’re able to bring these balloons in, there’s still a good bit of expense, 100% from our sponsors.”
Losing money, because there won’t be a festival. And the rally funds sporting events in the area.
“Even with losing the revenues that we normally take away from the balloon rally, we don’t feel like there will be a sporting event out there, that’s going to happen that we can’t help out financially.”