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Balloonists touch down in Waco

Sept. 5, 2003

By Sandi Villarreal, reporter

Bold colors will once again dot the sky as hot air balloons fly above Waco this week. The North American Balloon Association National Championship began Tuesday and runs until Sunday.

In conjunction with the competition, Baylor will hold the Third Annual Curves National Balloon Glow and Concert at 7 p.m. today at Floyd Casey Stadium. 'Light Up the Night Balloon Glow and Concert' will feature Christian recording artists Point of Grace and Sonicflood.

Baylor University, Curves International and KBDE 89.9 FM Christian Radio are sponsoring the event, which is open to the public.

'It is a great opportunity to bridge the gap between Baylor University and the Waco community,' Becki Majors, coordinator of student union programs, said.

This is the third year Baylor has held this event on campus for the students and community.

Past performers include Michael W. Smith, Avalon and Sign of Jonah.

'We're hoping to attract the surrounding community as well as Baylor students,' Erin Connors, special assistant at KBDE, said. 'It is a neat opportunity for the community to gather in a time of worship and fellowship.'

Although the event is open to the public, 10,000 seats will be reserved front-and-center for youth groups and Baylor students.

'We are expecting 90 percent of Baylor freshmen to attend and about 2,000 youth from Waco and surrounding areas,' Connors said. 'The vision is to create fellowship between the youth and the older freshmen students.'

The gates open at 6 p.m., and seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis. The event will open with the National Anthem and special display. Point of Grace will take the stage 7:20 p.m. for a 90-minute set.

An intermission will feature a light and sound show as 13 hot air balloons light up in Floyd Casey Stadium. Sonic Flood will then lead the audience in worship at 9:20 p.m. for another 90-minute set. The event will end by 11 p.m.

'It is a free community event,' Majors said, 'and it is a great way to create a witness for Christ.'

Youth groups and others are traveling from all over Texas to attend the event.

Tickets are not required for the event, but students must present an ID to gain access to the reserved seating.