Grove City and Giant Eagle will be presenting the 2008 Balloons Off Broadway from 6 to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 9.

Grove City and Giant Eagle will be presenting the 2008 Balloons Off Broadway from 6 to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 9.

This year, the hot-air giants will be further off Broadway than usual, with the event returning to its old starting grounds of Beulah Park, where the festival took place during its many years of sponsorship by the defunct Columbus grocery chain of Big Bear.

The death of Big Bear didn't ground the balloon gathering, though, as city officials stepped in after the sponsor's funding ended in 2003 to host smaller events. Giant Eagle in 2007 partially took the place of the store the Pittsburgh chain had replaced in the central Ohio market with sponsorship of the signature Grove City event.

More than 20 balloons are expected for the 2008 Balloons Off Broadway, according to a Grove City spokeswoman, resulting in the move back to the thoroughbred track at 3811 Southwest Blvd.

"Members of the Central Ohio Balloon Club will dazzle onlookers with color and provide the curious an up-close and personal opportunity to learn about hot-air ballooning," the spokeswoman indicated in the announcement.

The evening's festivities will include a host of activities for children such as inflatable bounce houses and face painting provided by T.W.I.G. 184, live entertainment and on-air broadcast by K-95 the Hawk with appearances by Hawk personalities.

There will also be tethered balloon rides for $5 a person.

The entertainment stage and children's play area are being presented by Giant Eagle.

Regional favorites the British Invasion will be performing.

The Lewis Center-based band "will take the audience on a musical journey to the 1960s and 1970s with favorites by the Beatles, the Animals, the Zombies and more, complete with vintage instruments, clothing and even hairstyles," according to the announcement.

"Everything has been faithfully reproduced to exact detail," according to the band's Web site.

The balloons are scheduled to make an evening launch at 6:30.

The time is approximate and is dependent upon proper weather conditions.

The balloons will return and re-inflate in time for a balloon "glow" at dusk.

"The 'glow' is an impressive display in which the inflated balloons are lit by propane jets to show off their colorful designs in contrast to the darkening sky," according to the spokeswoman. "Everyone is welcome to mingle among the hot-air balloons to get a closer look and to ask the crews about their love of hot air ballooning."

The event and parking are free.

For more information call the Grove City Parks and Recreation Department at 614-277-3050 or visit