About 30 hot air balloons will float over Tuscaloosa and Northport this weekend in an effort to raise money for people with disabilities. For the past 25 years, the annual Sunrise Community Hot Air Balloon Race has been held in Miami, but because of south Florida's urban sprawl, the event's planners decided to move it elsewhere this year. They chose Tuscaloosa.
How cool is that? Alabama football, Blue Angels, and now balloons!
The hot air balloon race will be Saturday and Sunday, and is free to the public. About 30 corporate and privately owned hot air balloons have signed up for the event, from across the Southeast. The world's largest hot air balloon, a 116-foot-tall pink Energizer bunny, will also participate in the race.
All proceeds from the race will benefit local people with developmental disabilities.
Balloons will be inflated between 5:30 and 6 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, weather permitting, and will follow a specific path where teams of aeronauts must drop beanbags on marked spots along the race route. The races should take between 30 minutes and an hour.
Now I know what you're thinking... 5:30a.m? Well, there will also be a race on Saturday between 5:30 and 6 p.m. That's when we'll be there.