Your eyes are not deceiving you – huge, colorful hot air balloons are everywhere in the skies over Shreveport-Bossier this week. That’s because the U.S. National Hot Air Balloon Championships are underway. This weekend, the public gets a rare opportunity to see the balloons “up close and personal” during the Red River Balloon Rally, July 14 & 15, on the campus of Louisiana State University in Shreveport. There’ll also be live concerts from For KING & COUNTRY and Rodney Atkins, as well as food and crafts vendors, tethered hot air balloon rides, and more. For ticket information and a complete, detailed schedule of events taking place during the festival, check out the official website.
If you’re among the thousands of folks expected to attend the Red River Balloon Rally, you’re going to want to know about the parking options. Festival organizers have produced a handy .PDF map of all on-site festival parking options, which you can download here. As this map illustrates, there are several on-site parking lots located close to the festival grounds – most of which are $5. The handicap parking lot is indicated, as well.
Mentioned on the map but not illustrated are overflow parking lots where SporTran will be providing park-and-ride shuttle service from nearby parking lots to the festival grounds. These lots are new for the 2017 festival.
SporTran buses will begin shuttling attendees to the festival site at 3:30 p.m. from park-and-ride lots at Lee Hedges Stadium, 6115 East Kings Highway, and the WK Pierremont Medical Arts Building, 1811 East Bert Kouns Industrial Loop. Parking is free, but round-trip tickets to ride the SporTran shuttle to and from the festival site will be $2.50 for adults and children over 12, children under 37” will be free, adults 65 and older and children under 12 will be $1.20. Tickets may be purchased beginning at 3 p.m. at both ticket booth locations, which are located on the west side of Lee Hedges Stadium and in the circular drive at the Medical Arts Building, which is also where passengers will board the shuttles. Both park-and-ride lots will accept cash only. Festival gates open at 4 p.m. each day.
SporTran’s park-and-ride shuttles will circulate non-stop throughout the festival, offering regular pick-ups and drop-offs beginning at 3:30 p.m. and ending at 11 p.m. each day. ADA transportation will be available.
For regular updates from the Red River Balloon Rally organizers, it’s a great idea to keep a close eye on their Facebook page – especially for weather-related news announcements, and info on where the balloons are flying during the week! There are also official Facebook events for Friday night and Saturday night.
If you go, have fun, and share your photos on social media using the hashtag #RedRiverBalloonRally!