MEET THE 2023 PILOTS
Scroll down to meet this year’s hot air balloon pilots and preview photos of some of the bright and beautiful balloons that will Glow on Sept. 15th and Race on Sept. 16th! We are so thankful to all of our pilots and their chase crews for helping make the Great Forest Park Balloon Race so GREAT!
HOW IS THE WINNER OF THE RACE DETERMINED?
The Great Forest Park Balloon Race presented by PNC is a Hare and Hound-style race. The beautiful new PNC Bank hot air balloon named “Bank on It” is the “Hare” and leads the pack, getting a head start at launch time and landing first. The other balloons, called “Hounds” launch in waves shortly after in pursuit of the “Hare” balloon. Once the Hare balloon lands, the pilot and crew lay an “X” out on the ground as a target. The pilot who drops their birdseed/bean bag nearest the center of the target is the winner!
Wind direction on Race Day will determine where the balloons fly and land. In the past, balloons have landed in all corners of the St. Louis metropolitan area and surrounding communities. You never know when a balloon might land on your street, a nearby park or a parking lot near your home! FOLLOW US ON TWITTER (@GFPBALLOONRACE) TO GET REAL-TIME UPDATES DURING THE RACE ABOUT WIND DIRECTION, FLIGHT TIME AND THIS YEAR’S RACE WINNER!