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The Force will be strong at Balloon Race
by Tribune Staff
Jul 11, 2011 | 2508 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Courtesy Photo/
Courtesy Photo/
RENO — The 30th anniversary of The Great Reno Balloon Race, set for Sept. 9 through 11, will showcase new special shapes this year, including the Darth Vader balloon.

The 86-foot-tall balloon will be coming in all the way from Belgium. Pilots Benoit and Michel Lambert have traveled all over the world with the balloon, making appearances in countries such as France, Thailand and Canada.

While the balloon has participated in other United States balloon festivals, this will be its first Nevada flight. To celebrate its attendance, spectators are encouraged to “join the Dark Side” by sporting their favorite Star Wars gear at the Balloon Race.

“We always try to surprise the crowd by bringing in new features to the event,” said Pilar Aldecoaotalora, president of the Balloon Race board of trustees. “This is another first for the event, and everyone on the board of directors is unbelievably excited.”

Other special shapes to be seen at this year’s race include the Bonanza Casino-sponsored soccer ball and The Wilbur May Foundation’s Hopper T. Frog and Betty Jean, a new butterfly balloon. For more information on this year’s balloons and sponsorship options, visit or call 826-1181.

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