Big crowd attends Great Forest Park Balloon Race

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ST. LOUIS (KPLR) --The gorgeous weather made Saturday the perfect day for the Great Forest Park Balloon Race. The race brings pilots from around the nation and thousands of visitors to the heart of St. Louis’ Forest Park. Gusting winds had some fans worried the race might be postponed, but it was only delayed by about half an hour. This year’s “hare” balloon representing media sponsor FOX2 and KPLR took off, heading south, around 5pm.

This is the second oldest balloon race in the nation, starting 41 years ago with just a handful of sport balloonists. It’s turned into one of the biggest fall events on the St. Louis calendar.

The KTVI/KPLR Hare balloon dropped the “X” target on a public golf course  “The Prairies” in Cahokia, IL. St. Louis pilot Joe Nusrala took first prize dropping his marker sixty feet from the target.


  • First place - St. Louis area pilot Joe Nusrala with a private (non-sponsored) balloon, dropped his marker 60 feet fromtarget.
  • Second place - Michael Boylan of Washington, IL flying Miller Lite balloon
  • Third place - Larry Owen of Danville, IL flying Purina Pro Plan balloon

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