Top Stories 2011- Number 7 – Two friends plus a short conversation equals 22nd Annual Hot Air Balloon Race

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During this year’s Hot Air Balloon Race, we teamed up with Pepsi to bring complete coverage.  During our flight in the Pepsi Can Balloon, we streamed live video to give everyone a chance to see New Haven from high in the sky.

Click Here to see the video.

Pictured left is Ellen Zobrist.

The one question we had always wondered, was how a hot air balloon race ever got started in a New Haven, Mo.


Sept., 22, 2011 - There is no amazing unforgettable story or memorable event behind the inspiration of the annual balloon race presented by Pepsi; instead the history behind it all, is quite simple.

A conversation between two friends, Ellen Zobrist and Tom Hennessey, brings us to this year’s race.  It’s interesting how a single conversation over 22 years ago has turned into New Haven’s largest event of the year.

Zobrist said, “We were talking one day and Tom mentioned about having a balloon race.”  Zobrist said she thought it would be a fun thing to do. Hennessey told her that he would take care of organizing it and here we are today.

The first race was held in 1990 with only 10 balloons participating in the race. This Saturday there will be 20 balloons, featuring the Pepsi Can Balloon and the Wehrenberg Theater Popcorn Balloon.

Zobrist said, “Some of the pilots have been here every year since we began this event 21 years ago.”

Zobrist wants to personally thank all the local businesses who have sponsored a balloon in previous years as well as all those who are race sponsors this year. Zobrist said, "This event would never have been possible without all of your support.  Along with the community and myself, we thank you so much for your continued support."

This years race sponsors:

Backes & Toelke Agri Products
Bank of Franklin County
Citizens Bank
Edward Jones of New Haven-Jim Stiles
Hair
John Fischer - Re/Max First
Larry Hanks Painting
Peoples Savings Bank
Quick's Save-A-Lot
Re/Max Today
Robller Vineyard & Winery