OKC VeloCity | Citizen Potawatomi Nation hosts annual balloon festival

Citizen Potawatomi Nation hosts annual balloon festival

By Molly Fleming / Member News / August 8, 2019

People will be able to see more than two dozen hot air balloons at this weekend's Firelake Fireflight Balloon Fest.

The Oklahoma City metro will be home to this year’s largest balloon festival in the state, with the third annual FireLake Fireflight Balloon Fest launching this weekend.

 At the festival, people will get to see a display of 25 hot air balloons, watch live musical performances and fireworks, visit a hunting and fishing expo, and a participate in a five-kilometer race.

The festival is hosted by Greater Oklahoma City Chamber-member Citizen Potawatomi Nation. It was the dream of Vice Chair Linda Capps to host such an event. The first festival was held in 2017. Admission is free, though there are costs to other activities, including carnival rides.

The festival kicks off on Friday at 4 p.m. at the Citizen Potawatomi Nation Powwow Grounds on S. Gordon Cooper Avenue, near the Firelake RV Park. The balloon glow is expected to start at 8:30 p.m., but organizers said people should watch the event page on Facebook because weather can delay or deter the balloon glow. Friday entertainment includes live music from Shiloh Steel. Play it Loud will present Mike Hosty and KALO.

 Hot air balloons fly over Potawatomie County during a previous Firelake Fireflight Balloon Festival.

On Saturday, festivities start at 7 a.m. with a five-kilometer race at the FireLake Golf Course. Commercial balloon flights and a balloon launch also start at 7 a.m. The timed race will be conducted in an out-and-back format. Finishers will receive a commemorative finisher's medal. Runners of all ages are welcome and can register online for the race at FirelakeBalloonFest.com for $25.

The balloons will glow Saturday evening at 8:30 p.m. Saturday entertainment includes live music from Amanda Coffee Reynolds, Vince Van and The Outlaws and Cade Foehner, a top-five finalist in season 16 of American Idol.

Throughout the two-day event, people can dine on food truck cuisine, enjoy carnival rides until midnight, visit a kid’s zone and petting zoo, and purchase items from local artists. Families can also explore The Outdoor Nation Expo. The hunting and fishing expo will be located inside the FireLake arena and offers family-friendly activities and vendors with demonstrations for all to enjoy.

 Attendees age 21 and older can also sample a variety of local wines. DiamondHead Wine, Sparks Vineyard & Winery, Wakefield Country Inn & Winery, Wildhorse Canyon Farms Winery & Gourmet Spreads and OkeOzark Winery will have their products available to try.

It will be a fun-filled weekend of balloon glows, balloon rides and family activities. Festivalgoers can expect to see balloons covering the Shawnee sky throughout the weekend.

For event schedules, vendor information, directions and more visit FirelakeBalloonFest.com.


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