Plano Balloon Festival canceled due to coronavirus pandemic

COVID-19 has forced the cancellation of another North Texas tradition – the Plano Balloon Festival.

The event featuring dozens of hot air balloons, live entertainment, exhibits, rides, vendors and fair food was scheduled for September.

Organizers made the difficult decision to cancel because they said they could not ensure the health and safety of the pilots who come to North Texas from around the country, as well as the thousands of people who attend.

“Our community has supported the Plano Balloon Festival for 40 years by investing in the event with their volunteer time and money as marketing sponsors and vendors. Balloon pilots have spent time with attendees educating them about the sport of hot-air ballooning. In this time of uncertainty, we cannot ask our community to risk their health to volunteer or provide funding when businesses are struggling,” said Jo Via, the executive director of Plano Balloon Festival, Inc.

It’s the second time in three years that the festival has been canceled. In 2018, severe flooding at Oak Point Park and the threat of heavy rain forced organizers to shut down the event for the entire weekend.

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Festival organizers are hoping to still host a virtual half marathon, 10K, 5K and 1K race in the fall. They’re also working on a virtual presentation to highlight the years of ballooning in Plano.

FOX 4 is always a proud media partner for the festival.