The Nebraska Balloon & Wine Festival is a two day event that takes place annually just outside of Omaha, Nebraska. Balloon pilots from around the Midwest descend on the festival to give rides in the afternoon and put on a balloon glow at dusk. There are many activities for children, food vendors, and of course wine tasting.
This is the second year that Lori Hutchinson has been invited to participate in the festival. She is the owner of Breaking Dawn Balloon Flights from Kansas and has been piloting Breaking Dawn for several years. She relies on a team of volunteers to help make her balloon flight a success for her passengers.
The Nebraska Balloon & Wine Festival is the largest balloon festival in Nebraska with at least 15 balloons, and has been occurring every August since 2007. According to the festival's press release the festival is a Nebraska Wine Showcase featuring some of the best award winning wines available to taste. Folks are able to enjoy the delicious foods, live entertainment and festival atmosphere that offers arts & crafts in the Marketplace Village as well as a KidZone Area with Pony Rides, face painting, inflatable bounce and obstacle course activities for the kids.
“The Hot Air Balloons attract a lot of attention and is unique to this celebration ” said Mike Mancuso, Event Producer, indicating that, “an estimated six million national spectators attend hundreds of Balloon events across the country.”
If the winds are too strong for the pilots to have the balloons up, then they do a candlestick glow. It's not as pretty as seeing all of the colors of the many different balloons, but it's enjoyable for the kids!
Governor Mike Pence stumped in Council Bluffs, Iowa at the Mid-America Center where Iowa Senator Joni Ernst was on hand to introduce the Republican Vice President nominee to an energetic crowd of just under 1,000.
During his speech Pence discussed a vision for the future of America and why this is a pivotal election with repercussions far beyond the next four years. It’s possible that the next president could end up appointing three or more justices to the U.S. Supreme Court which already has one vacancy left by the death of Justice Anthony Scalia.
Outside the MAC a handful of protestors had gathered, but were rather calm. Strangely, one protestor was holding the Palestine flag. During Mike Pence's speech four of them came inside and in a unison chant began to disrupt Pence's speech, but they were quickly drowned out by the crowd chanting "USA, USA, USA" and removed without incident by law enforcement.
Governor Pence also spoke about Donald Trump's vision for America and how he plans to Make America Great Again by getting rid of job killing regulations, tax reform, lowing the corporate tax rate, and stopping illegal immigration.
After his speech, Governor Pence walked the rope line shaking hands with supporters who showed up at 7:00am to get a front row place. He also signed autographs and took selfies before leaving the arena.
The 2016 Presidential election came to Omaha as Secretary Hillary Clinton was making a campaign stop in Nebraska's District 02. Nebraska is one a few states that can split their electoral votes. Looking to Omaha's native billionaire and world financial icon Warren Buffett for a boost, Hillary was making a run at getting at least one electoral vote out of this red state. Former U.S. Senator Ben Nelson also joined the list of speakers who came out in support of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.
Hillary Clinton outlined in her speech her economic agenda which included infrastructure spending. She has called for spending $275 billion over a five-year period to help rebuild the nation’s highways, bridges, ports and airports. She also said she would work to make college tuition free for the middle class, and to promote trades for people who don’t want to go to college and get a four-year degree. She wasn't clear on specifics of how she planned to pay for all of it.
Roughly 3,000 people attended the rally at Omaha North High School. It was an energetic crowd, however, most of those seated inside the gymnasium were Omaha North students and athlets. Space remained open on the gymnasium floor. Many people likely came for a chance to hear and see Clinton who is striving to become America's first female president.