Balloons Over Vermilion festival ready to fly high again

Balloons Over Vermilion festival ready to fly high again

Balloons Over Vermilion runs Friday and Saturday at the Vermilion Regional Airport, with the Splash 'n' Dash competition over Lake Vermilion kicking off the festival at 6 p.m. today at the Danville Boat Club. Here's a numerical look at the third annual event, courtesy NOELLE McGEE:

175,000

The cubic-foot volume of Oggy the Magic Dragon (right), one of the largest special-shape balloons in the world, when fully inflated. The smiling green dragon, flown by Westfield, Ind., pilot JACK SEMLER, is one of the three new special shapes to be featured, joining Semler's One Eyed Jack and MIKE SHRUMM's Te aMo.

8:30

The estimated time each night of the popular Balloon Glow, where tethered balloons light up like giant light bulbs. Friday's glow will be followed by a dazzling, synchronized music and laser light show by LaserEncore (above), which puts on a show at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

200

American flags the Patriot Guard Riders will place along Bowman Avenue and at the airport. As part of the patriotic theme, famed tenor JIM CORNELISON will sing the national anthem at Friday's opening ceremony at 6 p.m., and a Texan T-6 war bird flown by JAY SCHROEDER will fly overhead.