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Santa teams up with hot air balloonists in Longview

During the Christmas period, the people of a Texan city were treated to a festive flash mob event with a twist. Five Great Texas Balloon Race pilots and their crews came to a Loop 281 parking lot at Austin Bank on the 11th December. There, they inflated their balloons and set up a glow event. The Chairman of the balloon race, Dan Droege, said:
“The balloonists love to do this for the people to surprise them with the flash mob. This is their way to try to give back to the community during the Christmas season. People can come see them up close and take pictures.”
This is the second year that the balloonists have held the flash event. In 2013, cars lined up along Loop 281 to watch the glow. However, in 2014 word of the event had spread in advance, so 200 people turned up at the car park itself to enjoy the event on foot. There were no hot air balloon rides due to it being too dark, but Santa handed out gifts, and each child in attendance receiving a free present. When asked if the event would take place this year, Droege would not commit either way. Hot air balloons are popular at festive events in the US. In Fowlervile, Michigan, attendees at Christmas in the Ville stuffed a hot air balloon envelope with people to raise money for charity, while balloon pilots took part in a parade. In Vermillion, South Dakota, a hot air balloon was also a feature of the festivities.
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