Grimes wins key grab event at city’s Hot Air Balloon Classic
By Tiffeny Hurtado
Bob Grimes floated past the competition in his “Green Thing” to win the Lynn Layton Chevrolet Key Grab Race on Sunday at the 30th Annual Alabama Jubilee Hot Air Balloon Classic.
Grimes, of Franklin, Tenn., who has been piloting hot-air balloons for almost three decades, was able to beat 58 other competitors to win the event and take home the $5,000 cash prize.
He owns his own hot-air balloon company, Ace High Ballooning in Nashville, and despite the hazy morning, his “Green Thing” balloon was able to win the race within 45 minutes.
The hot-air balloon pilots took off from launching points of their choosing at 6:30 a.m. and flew into Point Mallard Park to make their grabs at a key attached to a large pole on the field.
“It was fantastic,” said Ken Garner, the balloonmeister for the event.
“We had a larger-than-usual crowd, and they were excited.”
Those balloonists who didn’t win the race got another chance to fly their hot-air balloons in the Fun Flight and Tether later Sunday at 6 p.m.
The Alabama Jubilee Hot Air Balloon Classic concluded with a Fireworks Extravaganza.
Garner was pleased with the crowds that celebrated their Memorial weekend at the Alabama Jubilee, and he estimated between 30,000 and 35,000 spectators came out to enjoy the hot-air balloon festival.
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