Balloon Rally and Glow kicks off with food and fun - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Balloon Rally and Glow kicks off with food and fun

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WAUSAU (WAOW) -

The Balloon Rally and Glow kicked off Thursday with a crowd in Wausau and there are plenty of sights and a lot of food at the summer celebration.

This year's Balloon Rally and Glow is expected to bring thousands of people through the weekend and it started off on a busy and delicious note.

The grills were fired up and workers put on the final touches, for the 12th year of the Wausau Balloon Rally and Glow and Rib Fest.

"This is the weekend you have to stay in Wausau, with everything going on," Kari Rasmussen, Wausau Events Director.

Organizers said there's plenty of excitement including dozens of hot-air balloons that will be launched into the sky.

"Bring the kids, bring your chairs, blankets, and sit back and enjoy the show," said Rasmussen.

Jackie Kluever said this is a summer event she and her children look forward to every year.

"My favorite part is the food, my kids, I think they like the food," said Kluever.

There's a lot of food to choose from.

"We tend to all kind of pick one or the other, and then try off each others," said Kluever.

Organizers said this year there are six barbecue vendors.

The newest option, barbecue with an Australian twist.

"We have a fruit-based concept, we use cherry and apple wood to smoke our ribs and we also use fruit-based barbecue sauces that are traditionally Australian," said Paul Mackay, Aussom Aussie Barbecue Owner.

Paul Mackay runs Aussom Aussie Barbecue Company. He's originally from Australia and he's excited to bring his take on barbecue to Wausau.

"Our invite arrived not so long ago and here we are," said Mackay.

Mackay said his recipes have won hundreds of awards in the past 22 years.

His crew started working early Thursday to make sure there is plenty for everyone.

"We'll probably start off with three to 400 slabs of ribs," said Mackay.

He said they expect to make many more as the crowd gets bigger.

The beginning of this exciting summer tradition.

Organizers said the balloons will start to glow around 8 p.m. Thursday.

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