The Flag City BalloonFest is one of the highlights of a Findlay summer, and anyone who has attended knows that the balloons are just part of the fun during this three day festival. Check out what fun is waiting when the balloons aren’t in the sky!
BalloonFest is the quintessential family friendly event – it is free, it is outdoors, and there are plenty of activities for children. On Friday and Saturday there will be a Kids Fair complete with inflatables and bouncy houses, carnival games and more. Don’t forget – tickets for these do have a small cost so make sure to remember to bring cash! The Jungle Island Petting Zoo will be back again, along with pony rides. Kids will also be able to see a variety of their favorite characters throughout the festival for photos as they walk about. Miss Ohio will also be available to sign autographs from 6 – 8 p.m. on Friday and don’t miss the real rock-stars of BalloonFest – the pilots! They will be available for a meet and greet and autograph session on Saturday from 4 – 5 p.m.
Signature BalloonFest Events
Like we said above, BalloonFest isn’t just about the balloons, there are thousands of people that come every year for all the other activities as well. For example, the fireworks on Friday night aren’t to be missed. The fireworks will take place after the hot air balloon illumination, and will be moved to Saturday if the weather isn’t cooperating. On Saturday, the Vintage Baseball Game is back for a round robin tournament. This tournament will begin at 10 a.m. and run until 4 p.m. Also on Saturday is the Car and Motorcycle show, which isn’t to be missed. Sign up to participate here! New this year, but sure to become a signature favorite, is the Let Your Dreams Take Flight Arts, Crafts, and Amish-made goods show. This show will take place on Friday from 4:30 – 8:30 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m. – 8:30 p.m., as well as Sunday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
You can definitely come to BalloonFest for a leisurely walk around the park and observe all the activities – or you can get involved in them! Knockerball has become a BalloonFest favorite and will take place on Friday and Saturday. Also on Saturday is the Up, Up and Away 5K! This 5K takes place in Emory Adams Park in the morning as the balloons are flying into the park, which makes for a unique view!
See and Experience Something New
This year at BalloonFest there will be plenty of opportunities to see and experience something new, with several demonstrations taking place throughout each day. The Findlay Flying Circuits will be back again with a display and electric aircraft demonstrations on Friday and Saturday. Also on Friday and Saturday, the Hancock County Sheriff and Police will be on-site with K9 demonstrations so you can see their powerful companions in action. On Saturday there will be Flag City Lacrosse Demonstrations along with a chance to show off your talents with a skills challenge. Have you ever wanted to get a new view on BalloonFest? You can pre-register for a full balloon ride now, or you can wait until the day-of and participate in a helicopter ride or tethered balloon ride. Fans of the 1960’s Batman TV series are in for a special treat – the 1966 Batmobile will be onsite on Friday and Saturday.
A highlight for many visiting BalloonFest, the live music during the festival this year definitely won’t let you down! Taking place in a special area, the entertainment district this year is made up of several live music acts, a mobile escape room, and the beer tent for those 21 and over. On Friday Josh Melton will take the stage from 6 – 8 p.m. with Nashville Crush following, playing from 10 p.m. – midnight. The following day will be packed full with Battle of the Bands beginning at Noon and running until 10 p.m. This year, Sunday will have the beer tent open from Noon – 5 p.m. with a concert by Bryan White, a country music artist who has had 4 number 1 hits on the Billboard Country Chart! As always, there is no fee to enter for all these events!
This is just a small sampling of what is awaiting you at BalloonFest this year! There will also be tables with information from area non-profits, food vendors, and more. And don’t worry, the balloons will still be flying everything morning and evening! See the event map here, and view the complete lineup and times, as well as balloon flights and illumination information here. Looking for things to do in the meantime? Check out our event calendar here, or see other things to do in Findlay and Hancock County.