Hot-air ballooning is the oldest method of air transportation, dating back to the 18th century. But these days, pilots of hot-air balloons must follow Federal Aviation Administration regulations. See 30 sanctioned pros, deft in the art of maneuvering propane, ripstop nylon and rattan, compete for regional gold on the final day of the third annual Kansas City Hot Air Balloon Invitational, an event sanctioned by the Balloon Federation of America. This morning's competition flight, at 6:30 a.m., is more about accuracy than speed, with pilots attempting to land on targets. Open all Memorial Day weekend at Celebration Park (159th Street and Kill Creek Road in Gardner), beginning at 7 p.m. Friday, May 27, this free event features 6:30 a.m. competition flights (lasting 45 minutes) and 7 p.m. mass ascensions on Saturday and Sunday. There also are food vendors, kids' inflatables and a beer garden. Evening parking costs $5. For more information, including weather updates, see kchabi.com.
Fri., May 27, 7 p.m.; Sat., May 28, 6:30 a.m. & 7 p.m.; Sun., May 29, 6:30 a.m. & 7 p.m.; Mon., May 30, 6:30 a.m., 2011