Even though the sun was still shining Friday at the Danville/Boyle County Airport and Stuart Powell field was full of onlookers hoping see the liftoff of the 22nd Annual Great American Balloon Race, threatening weather caused organizers to postpone the event until Sunday. Twenty balloonists and their teams had checked in and patiently waited to learn if the race would take place.
Incoming weather and surrounding storms were closely watched on a computer until the final decision was made to postpone the race. However, many families and friends continued picnicking and watched one balloon inflate. It was deemed safe to offer tethered rides up about 50 feet to those who wanted the experience of going up in a hot air balloon.
Bill Smith, a balloon pilot from Louisville who was supposed to fly the National Guard hot air balloon, ended up helping Don Smith take spectators on the tethered balloon rides. Smith said gust fronts from 30 to 40 miles away, could affect the tethered balloons, and volunteers should keep a close watch for any bad weather coming in closer.