New festival brings hot air balloons to Chalmette

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Where can you find hot air balloon rides, carnival rides and delicious New Orleans style food all in one location?

Sidney D. Torres Memorial Park in Chalmette. The Bayou Road Balloon Festival will run Friday until 10 p.m., Saturday, November 11 from 10 a.m.- 10 p.m. and Sunday, November 1 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

Festival Director Mike Zalaznik wanted to find something new in a city that's pretty much seen and done it all. 

"We were looking for another type of event to do in New Orleans and as you know this is a festival culture, there's a festival for everything," Zalaznik said. "We were looking for something different to do."

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The result is a little bit of everything. There will be live music from 10 different bands, a beer garden, carnival games, rides and food. There's also a big draw every evening at sunset.

"We've got a night glow going on every night which is just spectacular; they put the balloons up at dusk, they turn those burners up and they just glow like a light bulb," Zalaznik said.

He said it's not only gorgeous to see but you can also get a bird's eye view of the festival.

"Folks can do a tethered ride, they take you up about 50 feet, you hover for a while and then you come back down," Zalanik said.

The tethered rides are $20 and begin at 3 p.m. While you can find other places in Louisiana to take a hot air balloon ride, organizers said you won't find the culture they're offering here.

"A little more New Orleans style, a little bit better food, a little bit better music," Zalaznik said.

Admission is $5 for the day and $10 for the whole weekend, per person. Infants are free.