“Branson’s reputation as one of the premier vacation and entertainment destinations in America is well known and growing,” said Tammy Johnson, the General Manager for the Branson Tourism Center. “To the millions who have discovered Branson and all that it has to offer, it’s no surprise that it was listed in the top 25 List of U.S. Destinations in ‘TripAdvisors® 6th Annual Traveler’s Choice Destination Awards’ along with cities such as Orlando, New Orleans, San Diego and others.”
Although known primarily for its natural beauty, pristine lakes, live shows, attractions and shopping, which in themselves are remarkable, Branson has many special events throughout the year that give its visitors even more choices for fun and excitement. The Branson Balloon Festival, currently being held, is just one of these surprises.
The Festival is being held at the Branson RecPlex in Branson Hills and includes tethered rides, tandem skydiving, sky diving displays, helicopter rides, powered parachutes, food and vendors along with Hot Air Balloon Flights. Almost 20 of the giant Hot Air Balloons, with names such as, “Champagne Cowboy,” “Freedom,” “Odd Duck” and more, start the process of getting ready for the daily flights at about 6:30 a.m. as their crews, from as far away as Crestview, FL, spread the balloons out, attach their baskets and start to blow them up for flight.
As I watched with other Festival attendees, it was amazing to see the launching process unfold right before our eyes as the balloons took shape, displaying a dazzling display of design and color, filled up, rose gracefully into the air and gently floated away taking their passengers on an unforgettable experience. It’s truly a unique experience to see that many beautiful balloons going into the air in that short of a time.
Rodney Williams, a balloon pilot, operates “Branson Balloon” and, weather permitting, takes people on Hot Air Balloon flights over the Branson area on a daily basis. He explained that the reason for the early morning launch is because that is generally the time when there is the least chance of wind and the best flying conditions.
Some might ask, “Why even publish this piece because the event will be over Sunday?” The answer is simple, “The piece is about one of the many ‘surprises’ that Branson offers its visitors throughout the year, in addition to everything it offers on a daily basis.” Hopefully, it will encourage those coming to Branson to seek out and attend the events that might be of interest them and make their Branson visit more enjoyable.” One easy way to do that is by checking the Branson Tourism Center’s Upcoming Events Calendar which is sorted by month and day.
It only takes a few seconds and might prevent you from missing a golden opportunity to share a special moment with your family. I’d imagine that, like myself, the families watching those balloons take off this morning, or who will see them take off tomorrow morning, will have a special memory of Branson that will last for a long time.