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It was a banner launch Friday morning as crew member Chris Brooks stetched out the U.S. flag that would hang from Jeff "Kong" Shields' balloon as he helped hold the inflating balloon in place at the Garrison Middle School field. Six balloons, including Kong's, participated in the first-ever, Balloon-A-Thon simultaneous launch to kick-off this year's stampede.

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PHOTO GALLERY - Balloon Stampede gets off the ground

The six Balloon-A-Thon balloons launch simultaneously from Garrison Friday morning joined by another balloon, far left background, that had launched from another school site. Post your own photos on our Flickr group:


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