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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 08 2006 01:12 GMT mickmusser
I like this best of the parachutes. Everything is just right.
Oct 08 2006 02:44 GMT junne PRO
no wonder your neck hurts
Oct 08 2006 02:47 GMT PhotoPro PRO
Oct 08 2006 11:58 GMT Dolcevita
I agree with Mickmusser!! Great image!!
Oct 08 2006 12:57 GMT fredaH
Oct 08 2006 14:46 GMT SunnyRea
Great shot with the american flag!!
Oct 09 2006 23:05 GMT deanbed
This is what they call flying the flag :)) good photo!