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Texas city unveils new hot air balloon

A new hot air balloon has been launched in Plano, Texas recently, to coincide with National Travel and Tourism week. The balloon has been named after the city it will represent, and was created as a marketing tool to encourage tourism in the city. The ceremony was held early in the morning on 4th May at Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve, with officials from Plano there to launch the balloon. The executive director of Visit Plano, Mark Thompson, said that the balloon was considered to be a sound investment. The first hot air balloon to be launched in Plano was 25 years ago, and the city considers itself to be the balloon capital of Texas. The new balloon has been named Excellence as an acknowledgement to the city's slogan “City of Excellence.” The balloon has a sporty design and weighs over 700 pounds, and will be able to take part in exhibitions, contests and balloon festivals. It is going to be flown in the world's largest hot air balloon festival, Albuquerque International Balloon Festival, which takes place later this year. According to Thompson, the city officials are extremely pleased about that event, as it is one of the most photographed in the world, providing plenty of exposure for Plano. The balloon pilot will be a 1982 graduate from Plano Senior High School, Bill Broker, who has been flying balloons for many years. Hot air balloon flights are now more popular than ever, with a number of festivals taking place around the world.

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