Balloons Over Fayette returns June 17 with sky-high expectations for fun

Spectators enjoy last year’s Balloons over Fayette hot air balloon festival. The second annual edition is set for June 17. (Photo by Adam Hagy Photography)

By Taylor Milligan

 

Ah, the month of June. Infamous for its breezy hot weather and the official start of summer. Whether it’s grilling burgers on the barbecue or laying by the pool, summertime fun is no secret to Fayette County. It’s no secret to Anita Godbee, Director of the Parks and Recreation Department and the coordinator of the annual Balloon Fest, either.

The Balloons Over Fayette hot air balloon fest entails more than just its name. Kicking off Saturday, June 17 at 3 p.m., the festival is full of family fun activities. Of course there will be the main attraction, humongous tethered balloons to ride and take pictures. There are plenty of activities for kids, performances throughout the event, and local vendors to give the event the complete festival vibe.

Godbee ensured a larger-than-life event this year to accommodate the expected large crowd.

“We’re anticipating the same crowd if not larger this year,” Godbee said.

The festival last year had such a high turnout, it was difficult to maintain and entertain the unexpected crowd. It will be completely different this year. Godbee and her committee increased the venue size from the past year’s McCurry Park to the Whitewater Complex and Sara Harp Elementary.

“We have also increased the number of entertainers this year with two stages instead of one,” Godbee said.

The event will feature a main stage for entertainers from across the county to perform, along with a Kid Zone with kid friendly activities, inflatable rides, games, and performances.

According to Godbee, the most exciting part of the day happens at night: the Ballon Glow Event. The glow is the release of all the tethered helium balloons, allowing the fire to keep them in the air and illuminate the sky.

The festivities end after the balloons are released at 9 p.m., and there will be plenty of parking all day at Whitewater High School for families to drop by and take in the fun.

“We hope everybody comes out and enjoys the family event,” Godbee said.

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