Thirty balloons will be launching this weekend at the Mitchell airfield as the Old West Balloon Festival moves to its new permanent dates in August and participants practice for the National competition that will begin officially next year.
Balloonmeister Colleen Johnson says the competition will take part not only Friday and Saturday mornings but Sunday as well, and will be something spectators will find exciting at the scoring locations.
Johnson says ” We will set out X’s throughout the county and the balloons will fly into the X and drop baggies and whoever is closest to the center wins. You can watch balloons bombing out of the sky and bumping into each other. It’s exciting and a lot of fun. ”
Johnson says spectators are encouraged to purchase a $10 parking pass that will get their vehicle into all the events and pick up a beautiful program that lists all the balloons and has space for the balloonists to provide their signature. The business locations to get the pass and the program are listed at oldwestballoonfest.com.
The balloon glow at the Five Rocks Amphitheater Saturday evening will include kids games, food vendors and entertainment with the “Glow” starting around 7:45 and lasting until around 9 p.m.