Central Iowans who’re tired of just a hot sun in the sky will be treated to dozens of colorful hot air balloons floating over during the next week. The National Balloon Classic opens today in Indianola. Gerald Knoll is executive director of the festival which is bringing 99 hot air balloons to the town south of Des Moines this year. He says most of them are traditional in shape but there are several oddballs.Some unusual balloons include those shaped like a giant champagne bottle, a ladybug, a sea serpent, a cat, an apple and a purple people eater. Knoll says the balloon pilots are taking part in all sorts of competitions, including a target drop in which they try to drop a 2.1 ounce baggie onto a target. The baggie nearest the target wins.Several “night glows” are planned at 9 p-m on various nights where the pilots keep their balloons tethered but light them up with the burners. The festival runs through August 11th. For more information, call 800 FLY IOWA.
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