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The 37th annual Great Balloon Race (http://www.greatforestparkballoonrace.com ) is was held on Sat September 16, 2006. The balloons are all setup close together in a large field and then they started inflating slowly. The race is called a "tortoise and hare" race because a lead balloon takes off and lands at a distant area - the "tortoise". The other balloons take off one by one(the "hares") and find the lead balloon. Once they find the lead balloon they drop a sack of birdseed as close as possible to that balloon. The balloon that drops their sack of birdseed closest to the "tortoise" wins the race.

We started out with a demonstration of precision parachuting. After the last parachutist lands it is time for the race to begin.

This event took place in Forest Park (http://stlouis.missouri.org/citygov/parks/forestpark ) which is in the center of St Louis and is 40% bigger than Central Park in New York City.

This is the only balloon race that starts out inside a major metropolitan city in the United States. All of the other major balloon events take place just outside of the cities.
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Comments on this photo:

Oct 09 2006 19:08 GMT marijke06
it is over now?....... great series pp@
Oct 09 2006 20:09 GMT hans55 PRO
really great series !! ... always catch my eye when i look in my friends list !
Oct 09 2006 20:30 GMT Adamus
Oct 09 2006 22:12 GMT PhotoPro PRO
not yet Mari - 1/2 way on the race.... :-)
Oct 10 2006 02:58 GMT ashdad PRO
Just noticed the rat. Something for everyone, eh?