Balloon Fest launches in Midland - WNEM TV 5

Balloon Fest launches in Midland

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The Midland Street Glow -- photo courtesy of John Charles Mureiko. The Midland Street Glow -- photo courtesy of John Charles Mureiko.

The 23rd annual Remax Balloon Festival kicked off earlier in Midland.

On Thursday night, Main Street was aglow from the fire of dozens of balloons, and there was a big weekend of activities still ahead.

Twenty foot flares kicked off this year's festival. 

"Kids are having fun, I'm having fun, and everyone's happy," said Leeann Wilson, who brought out her son and her nephew on Thursday night.

Organizers hoped weather conditions would allow the balloon owners to inflate their balloons at the kickoff event. Strong winds deflated that idea. But it didn't matter - the balloon captains fired up the burners that keep the balloons afloat and warmed up about 1,000 people's hearts.

"How can it not be great? The weather's beautiful, a lot of good people, it's just amazing," said Garth McMillan, who lives in Midland and is piloting a hot-air balloon.

Business owners say the festival is a huge moneymaker for them.

The events shift to Midland County Fairgrounds on Friday. Weather permitting, balloons will start taking off Friday morning, and launches will continue through the weekend.

For more information on this weekend's events, CLICK HERE.

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