Drive-Through Balloon Glows at Centralia Balloon Fest

July 21, 2020

Centralia Balloon Fest is working to have an event that is socially distant, safe, and fun for the entire community! With four locations, families can view hot air balloons from their vehicles on both Friday, August 21, and Saturday, August 22, from 7:30pm to 8:30pm.

The balloons will be set up for the balloon glows at Centralia Fairview Park, Centralia High School, Central City Lions Park, and Wamac City Park. The Greater Centralia Chamber of Commerce is working in partnership with local municipalities and their departments, including police, fire, and public works.

“Since the social distancing guidelines were put in place in March, I have been working on a plan to have our event instead of canceling. We are happy to announce that we will continue our 31st Annual Balloon Fest, but with some new ways to see hot air balloons,” says Marcus Holland, executive director for the Centralia Chamber of Commerce.

In addition to the drive-through balloon glows, hot air balloons are scheduled to fly at 6:00pm on Friday, August 21, and Saturday, August 22, and 6:00am on Saturday and Sunday.

“It is the perfect opportunity to enjoy outside dining or your own backyard and watch 25 hot air balloons fly across the sky. Typically, the flights are shorter for the event, but we are hoping to have 45 minute flights for the balloons sponsors and the socially distant spectators,” says Holland.

The event will not be in Foundation Park this year. Balloon pilots are instructed to fly over Centralia, so the launch sites will depend on wind direction. Spectators are encouraged to watch the balloons fly, glow, and then spread out to businesses and organizations for activities and events.

“Our community was impacted by the stay-at-home order, like many communities, so we are seeing a loss of revenue for businesses, employees, and our municipalities. Balloon Fest can bring thousands of people into our community, so it is a great way to support our local businesses and enjoy a great event!” says Holland.

Updates to the schedule of events and more detailed instructions for the drive-through balloon glows will be updated through the event weekend at the Centralia Balloon Fest website and social media pages.