Gonzales balloon pilot takes to skies

Staff reports

Gonzales Hot air balloon pilot Robert Ambeau of Gonzales will pilot the Coca-Cola balloon in the 2010 Pennington East Baton Rouge Parish Bicentennial Hot Air Balloon Championship in Baton Rouge on Aug. 6-8.

Ambeau is a 23-year veteran of piloting, logging over 1,600 hours as balloon pilot in command. He is also a 9-time winner of the Louisiana State Championship in ballooning.

More than 40 pilots from nine states will compete for the title of best hot-air balloon pilot during the three-day event.

   The event is free and open to the public with food and gift booths on site, including a children’s playground.

The playground will be located on the grounds of Pennington and will be open from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday only.

   The Screaming Eagles parachute team will put on a demonstration on Friday and Saturday at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. The demo will be followed by a balloon mass ascension at 6:30 p.m. and a balloon glow at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

   A fireworks spectacular will light the night sky Friday and Saturday at 9:30 p.m.

 Lawn chairs are allowed, however no ice chests, pets, tents, cabanas, motorized vehicles or smoking near balloons.