The Red River Balloon Rally and U.S. Hot Air Balloon Championship has proven to not only be a family-friend event, but also an economic driver for our region.
“The Sports Commission’s main focus is bringing sporting events into the area and partnering up with our area to do that,” said Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission Executive Director Kelly Wells. “The Balloon Rally in its fourth year has grown into a million dollar economic impact each year.”
That’s one million dollars expected to flow into our area thanks to both events. That number has grown from about a $750,000 economic impact in earlier years.
“It is our fourth year and it’s going to be bigger and better,” said Wells. “As you can see ‘The Color of the Sky’ is the theme this year. One thing we’ve noticed is that every year during the week of the Rally.. the balloons literally color the sky around the Shreveport-Bossier area.”
Coloring the sky during the week is the Championship which alone brings in more than 40 pilots, their crews, families, friends and supporters.
It and the weekend rally gives thousands of out-of-towners and locals a reason to spend locally while also creating more opportunities to give back.
“The Balloon Rally has become a community event,” said Wells. “It’s one of the top fundraising opportunities for numerous nonprofits. It’s gotta be an economic impact first of all for us but then the great thing is when you get that economic impact and that quality of life for our community.”
The Red River Balloon Rally is Friday and Saturday night. For more information, visit: www.redriverballoonrally.com