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Volunteers inflate a hot air balloon for flight at the Red River Balloon Rally Festival.

The 2020 CenterPoint Energy Red River Balloon Rally alters summer festivities to produce a safe hot air balloon overflight over neighborhoods in Shreveport and Bossier City, Louisiana. The popular summer festival is being altered to a picturesque overflight the weekend of June 12-13.

Pilots are launching from various locations to soar across downtown Shreveport and central Bossier City. The Balloon Rally launches in three waves: 6 p.m., Friday, June 12, and 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 13. Weather permitting, the overflight includes nearly 12 local and regional balloons sailing over the area.

Begun in 2015, the festival is a community favorite, so the committee wanted to avoid cancelling the festival in its fifth year. Instead, they are reinventing the balloon festival to a safe overflight so community members can enjoy the balloons again this summer from their homes or cars.

“This overflight will give us all an opportunity to look into the sky and see brighter days ahead as we plan for 2021,” said Kelly Wells, executive director of Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission.

If weather permits, pilots will also conduct an overflight in DeSoto Parish at 7 a.m. on Sunday, June 14. DeSoto Parish is a 45-minute drive south of Shreveport-Bossier.

“We hope seeing the beautiful balloons flying over our area will bring some joy during these challenging times,” said Eric Barkley, district director of CenterPoint Energy, the event’s main sponsor.

For more information and updates on the Red River Balloon Rally, call (318) 429-0639 or visit www.redriverballoonrally.com or follow their Facebook and Instagram accounts.

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