By Melanie Speicher
FINDLAY — The city of Findlay is preparing to fly up, up and away during the annual Flag City BalloonFest, which is planned for Aug. 11-13 at Emory Adams Park. Admission is free.
Balloons of all shapes and sizes have been included in the past. Some of the shaped balloons included a football, lighthouse, dragon, monkey, parrot, Tweety Bird and Sylvester the Cat. An American Flag has also floated over the city of Findlay. In 2016, 46 balloons filled the skies.
There are events on the ground as well, from children’s activities to car shows to food vendors.
Balloon launches — weather permitting — are planned for Friday morning, Aug. 11, which includes a limited number of balloons and paid balloon ride passengers.
A mass launch will begin at 6:30 p.m. Friday from Emory Adams. A hot air balloon illumination — “glow” — will be around 9 p.m.
Saturday begins at around 7 a.m. with a fly-in at Emory Park. A 5K Up, Up and Away Run will start at 8 a.m. at the park. Another balloon launch with glow is planned for Saturday night, and a fly-in will be held Sunday morning.
No pets are allowed at the park, but service animals are welcome. The area is also a drone-free zone.
The first festival was held in Findlay in 1999. It was founded by Findlay businessman Dan Clinger and his son, Phil, who is a hot air balloon pilot.
For more about the festival, or to become a volunteer, visit flagcityballoonfest.com.