**Due to high winds aloft, wet ground, and an unstable atmosphere, the US Bank Great Balloon Race has been canceled. It will not be rescheduled. **
Wake up early this Saturday morning and witness what promises to be one of the most beautiful Louisville sunrises of the year.
The race, which follows a combination of the “Hare and Hound” and “Declared Goal” formats, is in its 40th year with the festival. In this format, the Hare Balloon (flown by the sponsor of the event, US Bank) launches first, flying wherever the winds take it.
When the pilot finds a suitable spot, he lands and spreads out a large fabric “X,” which becomes the target for the Hound Balloons, which take off minutes after the Hare Balloon.
When the Hounds see the “X,” they release a small bag of Kentucky Bluegrass seed from the air, hoping to drop it as close to the “X” as possible.
In its 40 year history, the race has only been canceled six times. Winds faster than 12 mph, low visibility or clouds, or rain will postpone the event. In case of inclement weather, the race may be rescheduled for Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning.
Admission to the take-off point, Bowman Field (Enter off of Pee Wee Reese Rd), is free with a 2012 Pegasus Pin.
Image: Courtesy Kentucky Derby Festival