Brian Kelly (KMOX)

Balloons Go Up in Forest Park in Preparation for Tomorrow's Race

September 14, 2018 - 7:10 am

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - Forest Park is the place to be this weekend.

The 46th annual Great Forest Park Balloon Race begins this evening when the more than 60 balloons fire up their burners for the beautiful Balloon Glow. And while the race is one of the most popular events in St. Louis, Spokeswoman Jessica Stegen says it's also popular among the pilots.

"All world class pilots, all by invitation only. We have some of the best pilots from around the country, and they love flying here in St. Louis. It’s one of the only metropolitan balloon races that flies out of a metropolitan city so it’s quite exciting for them,” she says.

Some of those pilots have been coming to the race for decades.

“We have two gentlemen who go by the ‘Flying Tomato Brothers’ who have been flying here for 42 years. They are quite a part of the institution,” she says.

In addition to the 65 balloons, there's live music, fireworks and much more tonight. The grounds open tomorrow at noon with more live music and dozens of activities leading up to the 4:30 race.

For the complete rundown, and a new feature that lets you track the balloons during the race, go to Great Forest Park Balloon Race .com.