ST. LOUIS - Hot air balloons will return to World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison this Labor Day weekend, the first balloon event to take place at the property in decades.

The St Louis Gateway Balloon Festival is part of the Balloon Glow Tour, a national circuit of hot air balloon events that visits New York, Atlanta, Charlotte, Miami, Orlando and Las Vegas among other stops on the tour.

The event takes place over four evenings and will feature a display of static hot air balloons glowing in the dark, tethered rides in the hot air balloons, food vendors, retail vendors and activities for the family. There is no per person admission fee but there is a parking fee which must be booked before you arrive due to limited capacity on site.

Balloon Director Patrick Fogue flies the world famous Pepsi hot air balloons and has done for more than thirty years. He is the Balloon Director of the tour, and says that hot air balloons create a sense of wonder for all.

"It really doesn't matter how old you are; Whether it is dad, mom, the kids or even Grandpa, the balloons just create a sense of wonder and awe for everyone."

"A lot of people are a little bit wary to go for a full balloon ride so at our events, we kind of give them a try before they buy experience with our tethered rides. You go up maybe thirty to one hundred feet depending on weather... but you remain tethered to the ground at all times!"

For Worldwide Technology Raceway General Manager Chris Blair, hot air balloons are something a little different for the racetrack.

“World Wide Technology Raceway is committed to providing a variety of entertainment options to the St. Louis Region. This unique event enables our fans to experience the magic you may only see at the major festival events in New Mexico or California without having to hop on a plane.

“We’re committed to providing area families with experiences that create memories that last a lifetime, whether it involves wheels and engines or the glow of a balloon. This is the perfect event to showcase our venue and provide entertainment for all ages.”

Tickets are on sale as of Friday, July 23rd. Purchase here.

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