The 38th annual Great Reno Balloon Race takes off this weekend at Rancho San Rafael Regional Park. The largest free hot-air balloon event in the world, the 2019 GRBR will feature upwards of 100 balloons and is expected to draw around 125,000 spectators.
The Race starts Friday, September 6 before dawn and will continue through mid-day Sunday, September 8. Each morning begins before dawn when the tethered balloons light their burners for an early morning Glow Show. Then select pilots take off for a Dawn Patrol flight. Then, at 6:45 AM, the mass ascension marks the start of the day’s competitions.
The event also features a number of artisans, vendors, and tethered balloons available for rides. Attendees spread blankets in the park and watch all events with their morning coffees—or mimosas—while tagging their best photos with #RenoBalloonRace.
Andrea is a freelance photographer and mountain enthusiast. She discovered the Great Basin on her first trip to California 15 years ago and finally made the move to Reno in 2019. Her favorite stories investigate efforts to strike a balance between conservation and recreation. Andrea has made images for a variety of publications, websites, and conservation organizations. In her free time—and sometimes for work!—she enjoys rock climbing, backpacking, snowshoeing, and lazy days in camp with her husband.