Las Vegas: Balloon Festival to benefit police search and rescue unit

Visitors to the Las Vegas Balloon Festival will be able to learn how the balloons get off the ground, and even take a ride in one at the Oct. 25-27 event.

Amid a colorful multitude of tethered balloons, the Las Vegas Balloon Festival will also feature food stalls and a carnival.  A specially equipped balloon will be available to take people with disabilities aloft.

The event begins at 7 a.m. each day on the grounds of Southern Hills Hospital in the southwest Las Vegas Valley, about 20 minutes from the Strip. It’s a fundraiser for the volunteers who help staff the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department’s Search and Rescue unit.

Admission is free, but there is a charge for sunrise balloon rides starting at $250. A “Reach for the Stars” balloon will offer trips in its handicapped-accessible basket.

The Search and Rescue team, which responds to emergencies over more than 8,000 square miles of mountainous, desert terrain, will provide daily demonstrations of their skills.

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