Looking for somewhere to go for a weekend with the family or with your best friend? The mid October Great Mississippi River Balloon Race is a great place to go. The area has much to offer besides the balloon races - carriage rides, tour of homes, entertainment, fine food, great fishing and hunting, a quaint mini-New Orleans style downtown, rich in history, even casinos.
Balloons from the Louisiana side, near the ampitheatre.
The images below taken by the Natchez Democrat go here to see the entire gallery for the weekend.
Lots of fun at the balloon festival this weekend. Still going on today in case you're close. Yesterday morning balloons were landing everywhere in Natchez - behind the Subway, by the highway, at the Mall, across the river in Louisiana. Perfect weather for the first time in four years brought crowds, bands, MANY MANY balloons, entertainment, a fair and a flea market to the Vidalia riverfront.
This is a great three day weekend for family or time without the kids.
On Saturday Sam Edwards of Lakeway, Texas won the barge drop which doesn't always take place every year because of weather, but is a crowd favorite. Only two balloons tried ti this year and only Sam was able to toss his beanbag onto the barge to win the event. The other balloon piloted by Tom Oberheide of Cary, Illinois came within three feet of landing on the barge then rose up and flew over the bridge before the wind just stopped. They had to tie a rope to a boat and slowly tow him to shore.
“(He) got hung out over the middle of the river and had to have a boat throw him a line and take him to land,” the public relations person said.
Safety is always first with traffic on the river temporarily shut down and coast guard rescue boats on guard. I noticed a helicopter flying around most of the day as well and wondered if it was part of a location operation since the balloons flew way across the river into Louisiana. I saw one parked in several freshly cut cotton fields.