Frontier Power Hot Air Balloon Festival launches spirits every June

COSHOCTON -- This will be the 28th year for balloons to take flight over the rolling hills and farms of Coshocton County. The Frontier Power Hot Air Balloon Festival will be Friday, June 5 through Sunday, June 7, with launches and fly-ins taking place at the Coshocton County fairgrounds located at 707 Kenilworth Ave., Coshocton. Admission and entertainment are free.

A full slate of fun and entertainment will also take place over the weekend at the fairgrounds. Visitors can enjoy midway attractions, craft booths, carnival rides, fireworks, photo contest, kiddie tractor pull, 5K race, flag ceremony, nightglow, musical entertainment, food vendors and many other family-oriented activities. On Friday night, enjoy free musical entertainment by Timothy Paul from 7 to 9 p.m. and the fireworks display beginning at 9:15 p.m. Saturday night Phil Dirt and the Dozers will perform from 7:30 to 9 p.m. and the popular balloon 'Night Glow' will be held at 9:15 p.m.

Balloon launches and fly-ins will take place (weather permitting) on Friday, June 5 from 6 to 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, June 6, from 6 to 7:30 a.m. and again from 6 to 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, June 7, from 6 to 7:30 a.m.

Kelly Kendall, manager of administration and Office Services at the Frontier Power Company, is pleased that Frontier Power is able to sponsor the Balloon Festival again this year.

"We've committed to the festival because we feel it's a wonderful event not only for our community but for the entire State of Ohio," said Kendall. "We are fortunate that it's able to remain a free event and it offers something for everyone."

Kendall said the employees at Frontier Power help in many ways with the event and truly enjoy the weekend.

"We have employees who are balloon chase crew members, some work in the T-shirt tent and I serve as a member of the Balloon Festival Committee," she said. "We all look forward to this annual festival and are happy that The Frontier Power Company is able to help. Coshocton is very fortunate to have such an event and we hope it continues long into the future."

Carol Remington, executive director of the Coshocton Chamber of Commerce, said the balloon sponsorships have been wonderful.

"So far we have 23 balloons coming to participate," said Remington. "And we are so pleased that Frontier Power is our major corporate sponsor again this year. They also donate the propane for the balloons. ITM Marketing is sponsoring the entertainment, so that is free to attend as well."

Bill and Kathy Thompson will be in Coshocton with their balloon, "Shared Magic." Originally from the Cleveland area, the Thompson 's learned to fly hot air balloons in the early 1980s. They are both commercially rated pilots and take turns flying in the dozen or so balloon events they attend each year.

"In over 25 years of flying, we each have about the same number of flight hours," said Kathy. "That's why we named our balloon 'Shared Magic.' Many pilots are able to design their own balloon envelopes, so the artwork and names often reflect the owners' personalities."

Remington said that this is the longest running hot air balloon festival in Ohio and that the balloon pilots love coming to Coshocton. "Hot air balloons have a way of creating happiness and putting a smile on faces," added Remington. "Plus the event is wonderful for our local tourism. It brings in hundreds, if not thousands of visitors to Coshocton each year. Many families near and far enjoy taking advantage of this fun, free event."

For information about the Frontier Power Hot Air Balloon Festival, contact the Coshocton County Chamber of Commerce at (740) 622-5411 or visit their Web site at www.coshoctonchamber.com.

For Coshocton County visitor information, go to www.visitcoshocton.com.