Capital City filling with even more hot air than usual

by Heather Miller

Con: It's Baton Rouge. Bonus: It's a hot air balloon festival!

For the really early risers or the late afternooners, there's hot-air balloon action taking place all weekend long in Baton Rouge at the Pennington Balloon Championship.

Held at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, the festival's website says the best time to view the collective bunch of flying objects is around 6:30 a.m., when you "see ALL the balloons flying and the temperature is cooler."

The balloon-drivers will be dropping bean-bag markers onto a target that morning as part of the competition, according to its website.

If you can't get to BR in time for the balloons' take-off, you can catch them in action again Friday and Saturday afternoons when "half of the balloons (approx. 30+) will set-up on the Pennington field and take-off:

This event permits the crowd to walk about the field and visit the crews. It is a great time to take close-up pictures of the inflation process.

Also one balloon will take off as "the hare" and soon after the other balloons will chase the hare as "the hounds."

Friday and Saturday evenings after sunset, many people make a special trip to see the balloon glow that resembles huge lighted ornaments. Half of the balloons (approx. 30+) will inflate on the Pennington field and flash their burners synchronized to the announcer's instructions; "all burn","twinkle burn", etc.

The three-day event also includes fireworks, loads of children's activities and more. Check out the full schedule and other info here.