Merengue to tropical tunes or catch the beat of oldies at this year's Lincoln Art
and Balloon Festival    
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[AUG. 20, 2004]  The Lincoln Art and Balloon Festival will feature Steely Pan and the Johnny Thompson Band as the 2004 grandstand entertainment at the Logan County Fairgrounds. Steely Pan, a Caribbean-style steel drum band, promises to bring an "island" feel to Saturday night's stage, while the Johnny Thompson Band will once again dazzle the audience with old standards. The art and balloon fest, which takes place Aug. 27-29, currently features over 40 hot-air balloons, two special-shape hot-air balloons and a juried art fair respected throughout the Midwest.

Bobbi Abbott, executive director of the local chamber of commerce, believes that this year's entertainment offers something for everybody. "The Johnny Thompson Band will be performing the '50s and '60s music we all like to hear," Abbott said. "Steely Pan's tropical theme promises a unique, new sound that is certain to be a hit."

The Johnny Thompson Band, sponsored by the State Bank of Lincoln, features four talented musicians who will rock the crowd with songs known and loved by all ages. The group will play from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday on the festival main stage, breaking for the announcing of the balloons. Johnny Thompson Band returns to the balloon fest after a well-received performance last year.

The delightfully Caribbean sound of Steely Pan will enchant audiences on the Saturday night main stage. Sponsored by the New Holland Banking Center and First National Bank of Tremont, Steely Pan uses bass and steel drums to create the music of Trinidad and Tobago. Steely Pan will play from 5 to 8 p.m. on the festival main stage, with a break for the announcing of the balloons.

"These two groups perfectly complement the fun atmosphere of the balloon festival," Abbott said. "Everyone looks forward to seeing the balloons, but the Johnny Thompson Band and Steely Pan are two more reasons to come out to the fairgrounds on Friday and Saturday night."


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The Logan County Fairgrounds will host the balloon portion of the festival. Gate times are 4 to 11 p.m. on Friday and noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday. The evening admission fee is $2 per person, with children under 5 free. From noon to 3:30 p.m. admission is free.

Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 28-29, downtown Lincoln features attractions including the 31st annual Art Fair, Main Street Lincoln's "The Art of Wine," a flea market in Scully Park, a classic car show and numerous other events that stretch for blocks.

The chamber is currently looking for volunteers to work the grounds, crew balloons and assist visitors at the festival. For more information regarding the Lincoln Art and Balloon Festival or to volunteer, contact the Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce at (217) 735-2385 or e-mail

The Lincoln Art and Balloon Festival is organized by the Lincoln/Logan Chamber of Commerce with the support of local businesses and community volunteers. Lincoln is conveniently situated near several major highways and located approximately 30 miles north of Springfield and 170 miles south of Chicago. Lincoln was named for Abraham Lincoln, and is home to several historical sites commemorating the 16th president.

[Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce
news release]

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