Balloon Fest brings 5 days of balloons

August 1, 2022

Balloon Fest is growing and inviting the public to watch two additional scheduled flights on Wednesday and Thursday before the weekend festival. These two added “Preview Nights” are at Castle Ridge.

Wednesday, August 17, at 5:30 p.m. is the official Chase Crew Training with hot air balloon pilots giving instruction. Attendees will be given hands-on demonstrations and instructions on the role of balloon chase crews, safety, and how hot air ballooning works. This is an opportunity for families to see hot air balloons up close and learn about how they fly. They can view the balloons from the ground or rooftop restaurant.

Thursday, August 18, at 5:30 p.m. will feature 10 hot air balloons taking off at Castle Ridge. Spectators will get the chance to capture the scenic wonders of ballooning with a lakefront view as they watch from the Castle Ridge Stonewater restaurant or up close and personal on the ground with the balloons! This is the perfect opportunity to take photos and get a small sample of the big event the next three days.

“For many years, we have invited our friendly hot air balloon pilots to come to Centralia for a few days before the official weekend event. Now, we are offering this viewing to the public to see hot air balloons. This means that there are now five days of balloons! These two additional dates have been added to give our community more chances to see hot air balloons and give our pilots more chances to fly,” says Marcus Holland, Chamber Director.

Individuals and families can volunteer to be chase crew through the weekend, August 19–21 for the four scheduled flights and two scheduled glows. Interested parties are asked to contact the chamber office or attend the crew training on Wednesday, August 17.

All balloon events are weather permitting.

Balloons are scheduled to fly Friday evening, August 19, at 5:30 p.m. with a hot air balloon glow in Foundation Park beginning at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, August 20, balloons are set to be airborne at 6:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. with another glow in Foundation Park at 7:30 p.m. The handicap accessible Drive-thru Glow will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Fairview Park on both Friday and Saturday nights. Sunday, August 21, is the last scheduled flight at 6:30 a.m.

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