Nicole Kowalewski /Nevada Sagebrush

By Maddison Cervantes

The Great Reno Balloon Race took place this past week. It began on Thursday, Sept.

4, and lasted until Sunday, Sept. 7, at Rancho San Rafael Regional Park. Each day began with the Glow Show–or the Super Glow Show only taking place on Friday–at 5:15 a.m.

The kick-off for the day consisted of a variety of hot-air balloons lined up together for an introduction. Each one was then as- signed to an instrument, followed by a song in which the balloons “played” by glowing with their open flames each time their instrument was heard in the song.

Dawn Patrol took flight at 5:30 a.m. with six more balloons taking off one after an- other. The sun was rising as they lifted into the sky and lit up in unison.
By 7 a.m., the sun had completely risen and dozens of balloons filled the morning sky.

The University Balloon Race Scholarship Committee – associated with the race by crewing the University of Nevada, Reno’s balloon and running the hospitality tent each year – has existed since 1999 exclusively to raise money to award two scholarships every fall semester; one to an undergraduate and the other to a graduate of the university.

They have awarded Darrin Mccarthy, a biochemistry and molecular biology major, as the undergraduate student and Miranda Smith, working toward a masters degree in social work, as the graduate student for the 2014-2015 school year.

The committee grants the scholarships each year, along with providing encouragement for people to attend the race at Rancho San Rafael Park. They also offer each year’s University Balloon Race Scholarship pin for a $5 donation toward the scholarships for the following year.

Maddison Cervantes can be reached at