The Great Reno Balloon Race Returns; RTC offers free rides | New

The 41st edition of the Great Reno Balloon Race is now officially launched!

Special shapes that will bring GRBR to life this year include: Darth Vader, Daz, Yellow Bird, Puddy Cat, Tico the Sloth, Tiger, UFO, Billy the Kid, Montie the Black Sheep, Sheriff Airmadillo and Smokey Bear.

Along with this year’s special shapes, viewers can now expect to see the Super Glow Show on all three days of the event starting at 5am. A handful of glowing balloons will serve as a beacon to the early morning sky with more than 30 balloons joining the special, twinkling early morning spectacle.

At dawn, eight hot air balloons will take off from the ground to perform Dawn Patrol. Only a few pilots in the world can perform this qualified spectacle, and it is a must for all participants. This year, Dawn Patrol will take place on all three days of the event. During the daily mass ascension, the remaining balloons will rise and fill the park with an array of colors and shapes as the sun rises.

From Friday, September 9 through Sunday, September 11, 2022, North Sierra Street will be closed between Putnam Drive/Hillside Drive and North Virginia Street from 2:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

Traffic control will be conducted at the intersections of North Virginia Street and North McCarran Blvd.

We remind drivers and event attendees that there is no parking on either side of North McCarran Blvd. between Keystone Way and North Virginia Street.

Meanwhile, the Washoe County Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) is offering free transit service to the Great Reno Balloon Race on Friday, September 9, Saturday, September 10, and Sunday, September 11, from 4 a.m. to 10 a.m. h.

Passengers can ride for free when boarding at the RAPID Virginia Line stop in front of the Reno-Sparks Convention Center or returning from Rancho San Rafael Park. RTC RIDE bus service on the RAPID Virginia line will operate approximately every 15 minutes with extended service to Rancho San Rafael Park.

The last trip leaves Rancho San Rafael Park at 10 a.m.

Passengers boarding at other stops along the RAPID Virginia Line route will pay the regular fare, which is $3 for a day pass or $2 each way.

For more information, visit

(The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office, RTC contributed to this report.)