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Monday, August 21st, 2006 -- 2:21 PM

The Children?s Miracle Network?s annual Wisconsin Rapids Balloon Rally and Music Fest is coming up this Friday through Sunday at Alexander Field in Wisconsin Rapids.

Rose Dorcey is one of the organizers. She says, to date, the free event has raised around $60,000 in donations for C-M-N.

?We always have between 25 and thirty balloons. Every year, though, the participation grows,? Dorcey says. ?We have people coming in from the Midwest, balloon pilots and spectators alike.?

Aside from the balloons, there are also airplane rides, helicopter rides, skydive demonstrations, live music all weekend, inflatable kids' toys, petting zoo, kids' games, shows, pancake breakfasts, a beer tent, food and craft vendors.

But perhaps the most impressive part of the weekend are the balloon glows: a surreal sight that happens at dusk on Friday and Saturday.

?(The pilots) set up their balloons and tether them. When it starts getting dark, they start lighting up the balloons,? Dorcey explains. ?What you see is just a field of bright colored (balloons) against the dark sky. It?s just absolutely gorgeous.?

Children's Miracle Network is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping kids by raising funds for 170 children's hospitals across North America.

On the Web:
[url=http://www.cmnballoonrally.com]Balloon Rally Website[/url]

Feel free to contact us with questions and/or comments.