Festivities for The Great Forest Park Balloon Race begin at 12 p.m. Saturday

ST. LOUIS - The Great Balloon Race is flying high in Forest Park this weekend.

47 years ago the event started with about six balloons and maybe a dozen spectators. Now, it’s become a race known internationally that many people look forward to all year long.

Belinda and Matt Beerman staked out a spot underneath a shade tree for the Great Forest Park Balloon Race. They try to come every year so they already know exactly what to bring.

“We’ve got a cooler full of soda, chips and snacks. We’re going to enjoy the weather and the balloons," says Matt.

With thousands of folks attending both the Balloon Glow and the race it makes for a massive cleanup effort.

“Have you ever seen that much trash in your life? No. It’s actually fun I like cleaning up," says Destiny Worthan.

Friday's Balloon Glow was cut short because of high winds, but it didn’t seem to stop people from having a fun evening.

“With how much ice they were missing it seems like they did pretty good," says Tony Camenzind with Arctic Ice.

While the weather was a bit of a gamble this weekend, with more than 1000 hot air balloons floating high above Forest Park it was hard to pass up.

It's an end of summer draw for businesses and spectators alike.

“Working down here it just helps everyone I guess," says Camenzind.

“It is really special for the community," says Beerman.

This is the last day to catch the balloon races over here in Forest Park and Fox 2 has been a proud sponsor for many years.

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