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Greg Fischer Editor-in-chief
A Yoda balloon on display at this year's festival.

Many balloon pilots landed earlier today for the annual parish ride, but the festival will continue on into this evening with live music, tethered balloon rides, a BBQ competition, and carnival rides.

However, last night fest goers at the 2018 Ascension Parish Hot Air Balloon Festival had some trouble with long entrance lines.

It was reported that some ticket kiosks were down causing trouble for people to get on the grounds quickly at the Lamar Dixon Expo Center.

On the upside, the 40 percent chance of rain held up on Friday evening, and that was a blessing. Moreover, the morning ride went off without a hitch. Pilots and guests gathered for coffee and donuts at 5:30 a.m. for a 7 a.m. ride from St. Amant back towards Gonzales.

The average morning ride lasts about 35 minutes. Meteorologist Jay Grymes from WAFB gave the weather report.

"It looks like there may be some lightning, but it's as far away as Grand Isle," he said.

Festival Director Robert Ambeau welcomed pilots and guests in the morning, and gave an update for what is to come. Unfortunately, there is another chance of rain in the late afternoon to early evening.

Tickets and entertainment information may be found at, as well as information about volunteering for the festival.