Grimes Field Airport will be bustling with activity Sept. 8-9 with the 5th Annual Balloon Fest – A Hot Air Affair.
Nine pilots will lift their colorful balloons into the blue skies at 6 p.m. and return to the airport for an evening “glow” at dusk, approximately 8 p.m.
The pilots travel from Lebanon, Lima, Beavercreek, Ashland and Marysville to take part in this event. The pilots have a passion and respect for the sport and several have won national and international competitions.
Al Nels is a two-time national champion and two-time world champion. He has competed throughout the world and was one of three Americans invited to participate in the Soviet Union’s first hot air balloon competition in the late 1980s.
Pilot Randy Wells has crewed for national and international competitions in Austria, Japan, and Dubai, UAE and has won multiple competitions as a balloonist.
In addition to the balloon activities, there will be a pizza eating contest sponsored by Marco’s Pizza on Friday evening and a Wings Eating Contest sponsored by the Wing Bar on Saturday.
The Grimes Flying Lab will be open for viewing, there will be children’s activities, food trucks, beer/wine garden and various vendors to enjoy.
Gates open at 5 p.m. and entry is $3 for adults and $1 for children. Bring your lawn chair and be prepared for an evening of light and color. Grimes Field prohibits smoking and pets.
All balloon activities are weather dependent and launch is determined by a balloonmeister, a weather specialist, not the balloon committee.
Info from event organizers