There's something for everyone at the Plano Balloon Festival

The weather in North Texas did not stop thousands of people from coming out to the second day of the Plano Balloon Festival.

FOX 4 is a proud sponsor of this event.

Things were heating up Saturday at the 40th annual InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival.

It's tough work to make it happen.

"It's like hanging onto a truck,” one person said.

The strong winds Saturday morning didn't help. Dozens of hot air balloons were inflated, but couldn't go up.

Although for many, that doesn't matter, because the views are breathtaking regardless.

It's more about celebrating the festival's history.

A photo from the very first one in 1980 shows pilot Lesley Pritchard landing at Plano Senior High School.

"Became involved in the founding of this event, and organizing, and flying here," Pritchard explained. "So it's a real treat to come back after 40 years to see how the event has grown."

It's a tradition for many.

"I came here for the very first one 40 years ago. My dad was in charge of running it that year,” pilot Karl Stefan said. “I was kind of helping him with it. I've been in ballooning since I was two or three years old, right along with my dad as a little kid."

At 16 years old, Stefan got his pilot's license.

Now, just like his dad, he's participating in the Plano Balloon Festival.

"Just, you know, trying to get more people introduced to the sport and get a new guard to come in and take over," Stefan added.

Others are coming to the festival for the very first time.

There's something for everyone. Live entertainment, food galore, a kids fun zone, and several races.

"I love running. I’m trying to get back into it and just the energy of the race itself is pretty amazing," said Ali Munoz, who is running in the 5K.

The drizzly and cloudy weather isn't keeping people away.

Though some activities are being adjusted, organizers are working to keep things bright, one way or another.