The 45th annual Great Pershing Balloon Derby will take place this weekend in Brookfield. This year’s event will feature both the traditional derby and the U.S. Women’s National Hot Air Balloon Championship. Flights begin at 7:15 am Friday, however, the launch field will be closed to spectators that day. President of Green Hills Ballooning, Richard Techau says the first event for attendees to check out will be the South Main Night Flame.

The South Main Night Flame will begin at 7:30 Friday night. Balloon races will take place Saturday and Sunday at 7:15 am and 6 pm, with final races taking place Monday at 7:15 am. Each balloon flight will involve the same competitors. Techau explains the general format of each race.

A total of 42 competitors are at this year’s Great Pershing Balloon Derby. Techau says some are coming from across the country.

There will also be notable activities Saturday around Brookfield. They include a number of vendors at Twin Parks from 10 am to 3 pm and the Balloon Derby Parade will go down Main Street at noon.