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Wonder Bread balloon takes to Las Vegas skies this weekend

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Posted at 3:15 PM, Oct 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-20 18:29:27-04
Wonder, one of America’s most iconic brands, will fly high above Las Vegas, Oct. 21-23, as the colorful hot air Wonder Balloon takes flight at the 6th Annual Balloon Festival at Southern Hills Hospital.
 
Event attendees and Las Vegas residents and visitors are encouraged to upload their photos of the Wonder Balloon during the 3-day festival using #SpotTheWonder on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for a chance to win Wonder swag and free Wonder Bread for a year.
 
Wonder Bread “took flight” in 1921, after Elmer Cline, an executive with Taggart Baking Company, was "filled with wonder" by the sight of hundreds of hot air balloons creating a kaleidoscope of color at the International Balloon Race at the Indianapolis Speedway.
 
To celebrate its 80th birthday, Wonder got its own hot air balloon in 2001. The Wonder Balloon is 90 feet high and 75 feet wide, and when fully inflated, is large enough to hold more than 90,000 basketballs.
 
Chris Sabia, Wonder’s veteran balloon pilot, flies the red, yellow and blue Wonder Balloon across the country, often accompanied by his co-pilot and wife Amanda Sabia, who also flies the Balloon.
 
The two met during a hot air balloon flight in 1999.
 
Sabia’s interest in hot air ballooning started at a young age, as he describes what drew him to the sport, “I took my first ride in a hot air balloon when I was 12 years old; it was a birthday gift from my father. My love for ballooning and my aviation career took off from that point on. We pilot the Wonder Balloon in festivals all across the country and seeing the look of awe and wonder on the faces of spectators as they watch these giants ascend up into the sky reminds me every day what a dream job I have.”
 
For an event schedule and more information on the 6th Annual Balloon Festival at Southern Hills Hospital, click here.
 
The event benefits Nevada high school students interested in the healthcare field.