2017 Lincoln Balloon Festival
August 25th thru 27th

2017 Lincoln Balloon Festival expands back to the downtown area with Art, Crafters, and Home-based business shows

Send a link to a friend  Share

[August 16, 2017]  This year, arts and crafts are returning to the Lincoln Balloon Festival. Artists and craft vendors will set up in Latham Park and home-based businesses will be in Scully Park on Saturday and Sunday.

Wilhite said that the art events held the past few years in June have been dismal. The heat played a big role in the loss of interest in those events. She noted that in the scorching heart, visitors didn’t come out, and vendors where miserable as well. She said some ended up leaving early last year because the heat was just too much for them.

With the decision to return the art event to the Balloon Festival weekend, Chamber Events Coordinator Kari Adams said that vendors who had expressed disappointment in the past are more excited about coming back. She said there are already several commitments from artists and crafters of the past.

Wilhite noted that again, it is a weather driven event, and the Chamber is still getting entries for the downtown park events. She said that some are interested, but they are going to wait to commit until they can get a weather forecast. Therefore, she said that the chamber is anticipating that more and more vendors will sign on. She said “our goal is to fill the park.” But in the first year of bringing the art and crafts back to the Balloon Festival, it will be somewhat of a ‘wait and see’ scenario.

Wilhite also explained that Latham Park will feature artists and crafters with high quality products for sale. The event however will not be a juried show, so there will be no judging and no awards given out.

The Craft and Vendor Fair will run 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Library book sale

The Lincoln Library Book Sale has become a big favorite on Balloon Festival weekend, and that event will return once again this year. Look for the opportunity to purchase books for a buck-a-bag starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday morning. The sale will continue on Sunday opening at 10 a.m. and closing at 2 p.m.

Enjoy an ice cream social at the Woman’s Club on Saturday

This year the Lincoln Woman’s Club, located at 230 S. McLean will host an Ice Cream Social on Saturday. The event will feature root beer floats and other great dessert items as a fundraiser for the club.

Come enjoy the local stores and eateries in downtown Lincoln

Wilhite said that, again, listening to the opinions of the community, and particularly in this case, downtown merchants, there will be no food or beverage vendors in the downtown area on Saturday and Sunday.

While enjoying the arts, crafts, and other vendors, visitors are encouraged to visit some of the wonderful shops in the downtown area.

Lincoln Heritage Museum on the Grassy Knoll

Look for fun Civil War era kids games in downtown Lincoln on the Grassy Knoll, the lot located at the corner of Pekin and North Kickapoo Street. The event is being provided by the Lincoln Heritage Museum at Lincoln College.

[to top of second column]


Tom McLaughlin and other volunteers will dress in Civil War era clothing and will offer kids the opportunity to play with games that would have been popular in the days of the Lincoln children.

The Museum will also have letterhead paper available for any child who would like to write a letter to Abraham Lincoln. Some may recall the museum has a wall dedicated to children’s letters. The letters written on the Grassy Knoll may be added to that wall.

City of Lincoln and Lincoln Park District host downtown Sidewalk Chalk Art again this year

Once again this year, while enjoying the events going on downtown, walking will be encouraged, so that visitors may enjoy the sidewalk chalk art projects that will be on display around the downtown square.

The artists will put their art down on the walks on Thursday, August 24th. Drawing and coloring starts at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday and should be completed by 8 p.m. that evening.

To register for a spot on the sidewalk, artists can register and pay their entry fee at the Lincoln Park District or City Hall. The $10 registration fee will include a designated space for drawing, a box of sidewalk chalk and a can of hairspray for sealing the artwork once it is completed.

Each year the sidewalk art is a great feature of the balloon festival, and getting the chance to see the talent that exists in Lincoln and Logan County is a lot of fun.

A work in progress, creating a true community event

Wilhite said that this year she feels the chamber is off to a great start on what will be a work in progress over the next few years. She said that the balloon festival can become better with each year, if more people in the community become involved.

Wilhite noted that she is very excited to see the Woman’s Club offer their ice cream social on Saturday. She’s also very excited to have the Lincoln Heritage Museum take part in the downtown events.

She said that as time goes on, she is so hopeful that local attractions such as Postville Courthouse and the Mill on 66 will also want to be a part of the festival again. She said, “We want to make this a town-wide, community event, not just an airport event or a Chamber event.”

[Nila Smith]

< Recent features

Back to top