Balloons and Tunes returns Aug. 23-24
Grove City will soon have the chance to run through the streets and soar through the sky.
The Balloons and Tunes hot air balloon festival will be from 5 to 9:30 p.m. Friday and 5 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 23-24, at Beulah Park, 3811 Southwest Blvd.
On the morning of Aug. 24, the third annual Mount Carmel Up and Away 5k will held.
Attendees can expect to see more balloons this year.
"Last year, we had 22," said Grove City Recreation Superintendent Ed Merritt said. "For this year's event, we're going to have 30."
This will be the 10th year the city has held Balloons and Tunes. Before that, it was operated by Big Bear until the company went bankrupt.
"The city decided to pick up when they left off," Merritt said. "We've adapted a little bit each year."
The Tunes part of the festival will provide live music from MojoFlo Aug. 23 and Jayne Bond and the Pink Martinis Aug. 24. There also will be food vendors.
"My favorite part of the event is the balloon glow," Merritt said, when the balloonists fire their hot-air engines in unison. "It looks like a bunch of different light bulbs lighting up."
Tethered balloon rides and ascensions also are scheduled but are weather-dependent, subject to cancelation in high winds.
There is no charge for admission or children's activities, but parking is $5. No outside food, beverages or pets other than service animals are permitted.
The 5k event also has seen growth, Merritt said. The first event had around 120 runners and walkers, and last year's had more than 200.
"We're expecting it to grow again," Merritt said. "A lot of that is dependent on the weather."
The Up and Away 5k begins at 8 a.m. Aug. 24 with a Kids' Fun Run, followed immediately by the 5k for runners and walkers.
The course is slightly altered this year, Merritt said. The route goes through the historic Grove City Town Center, and awards will be given to the top three men and women finishers.
"It's a great course," Merritt said.
This is the third year the city has partnered with Mount Carmel Health Systems for the 5k. Merritt said Mount Carmel had approached the city previously about getting involved with Balloons and Tunes in some way, and the city is always looking for recreation opportunities for the community.
"That's kind of how it came about," Merritt said. "It has worked out great for us."
Participants for the 5k can pre-register online for $25 or on race day, from 6:30-7:30 a.m., for $30. The Kids' Fun Run is $20 during the online pre-registration period and $25 on race day. The first 200 registrants will receive a technical race T-shirt.
Proceeds from the event will benefit the Mid-Ohio Foodbank.
For additional information, including the course map, visit GroveCityOhio.gov or call 614-277-3050.