Free Family Fun At 2009 US National Hot Air Balloon Championship 2009: Nancy Engel

Free family fun at 2009 US National Hot Air Balloon championship

Nancy Engel • Reader Submitted • August 18, 2009 Looking to squeeze in some last minute summer fun with the family before school starts
We have a great way for you to do that and it won’t break the pocket book either! The 2009 U.S. National Hot Air Balloon Championship is being held August 26- 30 in Battle Creek, MI and they have prepared lots of fun for your family to enjoy during the event! All the fun events that you won’t want to miss will be at the Kellogg Community College (KCC) grounds at 450 North Avenue from 4-9pm on Friday August 28 and Saturday August 29. Event parking will be in the main KCC lot, with overflow parking in the Lane Thomas and Miller College lots on the south side of the campus. Your family will enjoy demonstrations by the ALURT Area Law Enforcement Underwater Recovery Team (Calhoun County Sheriff dive team) and the Battle Creek Fire Department’s Smokehouse as well as displays by the Kingman Museum, the Substance Abuse Council and Battle Creek Public Works. Children will enjoy the entertaining antics of the Red Cross Clowns making balloon figures, face painting and Pocket Magic as well as some inflatables to bounce, box and race on. There will also be a hot air balloon educational tent. You will enjoy browsing the Novelty Vendors, which include Gloworks Imports Inc, Alphapromoproducts (Balloon Novelties) and Shirts ‘N More (for Official Souvenirs) and can grab a bite at one of the food vendors which include Cool Mamas Ice Cream, Susan Baker making delicious Elephant Ears, Justice Concessions, Sonny’s Pit Stop, Fazoli’s, Fudge by Design and Walker’s Concessions. Everyone will delight in the music of the bands and DJ set to perform in the community tent. On Friday BJ Etheridge will perform DJ duties from 5-7pm and Whiskey Rhythm wraps things up from 7pm-9pm. Saturday from 5pm-7pm it’s the Left Turn Blues Band and from 7pm-9pm The Edge. The highlight of both evenings will be the two scheduled hot air balloon flights and the Balloon Glows. Keep your eyes to the sky between 6:30 and 8pm both nights as the top 50 balloonists in Nationals competition will be flying and may soar overhead while you are enjoying all the activities! Then the attention will turn to the hot air Balloon Glows featuring the fifteen Fiesta balloon pilots and their colorful balloons. The Fiesta balloons are not competing in the national championships, but are flying during the scheduled seven flights to add excitement and color to the Battle Creek sky and to provide families with up-close opportunities for fun during the balloon glows. Children will thrill with the chance to walk amongst the hot air balloons, once inflated and collect the pilot’s autographs, take photos and maybe even climb into a basket or two! Balloon glows will be from 8:30-9pm both nights. The fiesta balloons include: Wes Dickerson of Milford, MI flying Fore, Dave Emmert of Battle Creek in Cloud Nine, Dale Wilson of Augusta, MI with Seventh Heaven, Steve Herbstreith of Battle Creek in Freedom, Pat Rolfe also of Battle Creek in Firewalker, Mike Moore of Augusta, MI in Shenanigans, Lee Edwards and Steve Peck of Battle Creek in Plum Crazy and Gypsy Wind, Tom Bergeon of Mason, MI flying the Remax balloon, Mike Nelson of Fortville, Indiana in his WGVU balloon, Chris Smart of Huntington, Indiana with Dream Catcher, Tyler and Dave Jaques of Battle Creek and East Leroy, MI flying alternatively Sugar Bear or the Post Balloon, Woody Watson of Caledonia, MI with the Patriot Eagle, Jody Leatherberry of Stockbridge, MI in Phoenix and Marsha Treacy of Statesville, NC flying the 70th Anniversary Wizard of Oz balloon. The community activities and events are free, but you are asked to please bring a non-perishable food item to help fill a balloon “basket” for the Food Bank of South Central Michigan, the non-profit charity supported by the organizer, Holiday Balloon Fest, Inc. For more information on the Food Bank visit .
All the fun events that you won’t want to miss will be at the Kellogg Community College (KCC) grounds at 450 North Avenue from 4 to 9 p.m. on Friday August 28 and Saturday August 29. (Submitted by Nancy Engel)

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