2016 Balloon Festival

Woman on the ground, Angela Reiners, asks festival goers:
What is great about the Lincoln Balloon Fest?

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[August 27, 2016]  Though dark clouds and a chance of rain kept balloons from launching Friday night, there was still a fairly good crowd out at the airport enjoying the food vendors, rides, games, music, and balloon glow.

Among those at the balloon festival were several from various parts of the state attending for the first time.

Barbara Chavez and her husband live in Pontiac and have been to a festival there, but it was their first year at Lincoln's festival. Chavez said balloon lift offs are beautiful. She also likes the funnel cakes and lemon shake-ups.

Sophia from Bloomington said it was the first time she, her mother, and grandmother had been to the festival. She said, "I like the games."

First timers Sam Wise and Lilly and Lainie Wills came from Mount Zion with their families. They all like the balloons,. Lainie said she would be happy if she gets to ride rides and eat funnel cake.

Eric and Lucas from Springfield love the balloons and all the festival food.

Dawn Spiesz said she had not been to the balloon festival in many years and her infant son Rylan had never been to one. Spiesz said Rylan loves seeing the rides and all the action. Their friend Jaxson, son of Ashley Shook, enjoys the rides, especially the green elephant ride.

Two year old Carter Doolin loves seeing the balloon launch and was able to see some lift off Thursday night.

Six local balloonist flew into Logan County Airport from the northwest on Thursday. One balloon is hidden by another in the center. The balloonists made short work of their flight as conditions were tenuous for the potential formation of thunderstorms. Low winds made for a slow leisurely flight over nearby corn and soybean fields.

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Several pilots landed their balloons at the far south end of the airport near the National Weather Service campus.

Alex Tanner loves seeing the hot air balloons and her sister Gwyn loves the food. Both enjoy the balloon glow and launch.

Tony and Wesley Newton and their three children enjoy seeing all the balloons and always like to get a funnel cake and lemonade shake-ups. Their sons enjoyed dancing around while waiting for the balloon glow to start.

Five year old Blaine Klemm loves going on the rides and said the cars are his favorite. He always looks for the special shaped balloon and is excited to see the pirate ship balloon this year. He enjoys the balloon glow too.

Olivia and Hunter Diamond like seeing the balloons and playing the games. Their mom Cynda Griffin loves the funnel cakes. Her husband Zachary Griffin likes the games and the ice cream cookie sandwiches.

On the cool and breezy Friday night, there was plenty of activity for the crowds to enjoy even though the balloons did not launch. After the dark clouds had passed through, those who had patiently waited were able to see several balloons lighting the sky during the balloon glow.

[Angela Reiners with additional photos by Jan Youngquist]

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