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Balloons Over Vermilion Kicks Off

Thursday night marked the eve of Balloons over Vermilion. (WCCU)

Thursday night marked the eve of Balloons over Vermilion. Every year the night before the big balloon event, the Danville Boat Club hosts the “Splash and Dash” where about 10 balloons fly over Lake Vermilion and try to hit a target with a rubber ducky.

Fox Champaign’s Nikki McGee got to ride in one of the hot air balloons, which didn’t do great in the Splash and Dash, but McGee says it was a great way to kick off Balloons Over Vermilion.

Balloons over Vermilion started last year. It used to be known as the balloon classic, a community tradition that wasn't around for about 15 years.

That's how pilot Dean Carlton got his start in ballooning and has stuck with the sport ever since.

"That’s one of the best things about ballooning, it’s a very family-friendly sport,” Carlton said. “We had a great time. We decided that one weekend a year wasn’t nearly enough, so we bought a balloon, learned how to fly and been flying ever since.”

That's why he encourages you to bring the whole family out, especially the kids. He says for many, Balloons Over Vermilion will be a once in a lifetime experience.

Balloons Over Vermilion takes place at Vermilion Regional Airport Friday from 3 p.m. to midnight and 1 p.m. to midnight Saturday.

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