The 37th annual Pershing Balloon Derby gets underway in Brookfield Thursday evening. Click to hear KMZU’s Sarah Scott speak with Event Coordinator Fran Graff:

Fran Graff

Each hot air balloon operator is competing for points, which will then get them to nationals. “These are all sponsored by local businesses and such. And they do take up a rider once throughout, but they would have five races, and so they don’t always have a rider every time,” said Graff, “But it’s not for general public getting rides, since they are sanctioned.”

The weekend kicks off with a Queen Contest Thursday night at 7:00. Events run through Monday morning. A full list of events is available at

The big day for the event is Saturday. “Downtown, we have a big craft show. There’s food, there’s a baby show. And right at noon we have a big parade. And it has all of the pilots participate. And they dress up their balloons, their trailers, and their chase crew vans and stuff. And they participate in the parade. So it’s a really big nice one,” said Graff.

Balloon flights will be held Friday at 8:00 p.m., Saturday at 7:15 a.m., 6:00 p.m., and 8:00 p.m., Sunday at 7:15 a.m., 6:00 p.m., and 8:00 p.m., and Monday at 7:15 a.m.