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Guests had their eyes glued to the skies for Lufkin’s Glow Show

Published: Aug. 7, 2021 at 10:04 PM CDT
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LUFKIN , Texas (KTRE) - Up, up, and away! Hot air balloons floated through the sky Saturday night at Kit McConnico Park in Lufkin.

Balloons of all colors took to the skies Saturda, for families to watch and even ride. Taylor Commiato, the director of the Lufkin Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, said this is the first time the city of Lufkin has hosted an event with hot air balloons.

“Personally, I have never seen a hot air balloon in person, and I know I’m not the only one in this area, so it’s just a unique opportunity here in East Texas,” Commiato said.

She said the event was needed to bring smiles to the community after the challenging year some had. The event has been highly anticipated since its announcement in April and sold out in just three days.

“With everything that’s going on with COVID and people not being able to go out and do things … and this is right here in Lufkin. So we were able to bring it right here for our community to enjoy, and it’s just something special for everybody,” Commiato said.

Pat Harwell is the owner of American Escapes Air Sports, and his team of a dozen balloonists came to give kids a glimpse of their community from a different perspective.

“The kids get more out of this than anybody. And we love to give them a few souvenir cards and see that smile on their face after they get a tethered ride,” Harwell said.

Harwell said that he doesn’t have words to describe what the view looks like from the air. He said that it takes his breath away every time.

“I know the first time that I flew, it was surprising, shocking. But I’ve been flying for 31 years, and I never have a flight where someone doesn’t wave at me from the ground and yell at me and want me to land in their yard,” Harwell said.

Due to the successful turnout at this year’s show, Lufkin Convention and Visitor’s Bureau hopes to bring it back next year.

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