Set-up begins for The Great Reno Balloon Race

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Updated: 9/03/2013 6:15 pm
RENO, Nev. (KRNV & --  Tents are going up and cones are being laid down at Rancho San Rafael Park.

"We've started transforming the field. We'll have all of our equipment and services coming in over the next couple days."

The Great Reno Balloon Race is just days away, but race Executive Director Pete Copeland said it takes dozens of volunteers and lots of work in advance to transform a large grassy area, into what he calls a mini city.

"We're setting up our parking today. We're setting up basically the infrastructure for a city. It's a little city during the four days we're out here," he said. "It takes a wonderful support group of volunteers and that's what we have."

He said around 95 balloons will be on display this year, including some new additions.

"We have the hummingbird balloon, we have spider pig balloon which is new, we have a lemon balloon. We've got a great array of special shapes, 14 in total."

Also new this year, a super glow-show which kicks off the festivities just after 5 a.m. Friday morning.

"It's so whimsical, the event is," said Copeland. "You can get up close to it and you can touch it, you can see it."

There's even some new options when it comes to spectator parking this year.

"We have a new entrance on a parking area," he said. "It's eastbound McCarran Boulevard. So you want to sneak around up through Keystone, that's a much easier avenue to get through."

And for a $10 donation, you can park at the structure on Sierra and McCarran.

100,000 people are expected over the three day event, and Copeland said mornings are the best time to catch the greatest view.

"I would suggest Saturday's great. Get out here Friday, get out here Sunday as well but we are expecting a full house this year."
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