LONGVIEW — The Great Texas Balloon Race got underway Monday, with activities continuing in Longview and the surrounding area through Sunday. Meanwhile, local police want to make sure that everyone enjoys the activities safely, and they’ve issued a set of safety tips, which you can read below. A practice flight was held Monday morning, and competitive flights began today. The Great Texas Balloon Race Festival, with a variety of family-friendly activities, gets underway Friday. According to the event website, the Balloon Race is “a world class event attracting the very best competitive pilots from across the United States and the world.” The website also highlights Friday and Saturday night’s popular Balloon Glows, which “entertain crowds with an awesome display of color and excitement.”
Now, those safety tips for this week, issued by Longview police:
1. Don’t stop in the roadway or obstruct traffic to look at the balloons overhead.
2. Please don’t attempt to take photos of the balloons while you are operating a moving vehicle.
3. Balloons will be landing around the area in lots of different spots. If you see one landing in a field, parking lot, etc. don’t assume it has crash landed. Look around for the crew that is usually very nearby.
4. If you do see a balloon that has crash-landed, is in power lines, on fire, etc., call 9-1-1 immediately and give the location (as best you can) of that hot air balloon and any details you may have.
5. Most importantly, enjoy the balloon sightings this week, but do it safely.
You can go to http://www.greattexasballoonrace.com/ for complete information on the balloon race.