West Side News

Racetrack departure spells end for balloon festival

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The closing of Beulah Park has popped Balloons and Tunes.

Balloons and Tunes, Grove City's annual hot air balloon and music festival held at Beulah Park, has been canceled, Mayor Richard "Ike" Stage announced at the Grove City Council meeting Monday, April 21.

Beulah Park is scheduled to hold its final races on May 3, and close after that, and the closing has made it too difficult for the city to pull off Balloons and Tunes.

"It became a logistical nightmare," Stage said.

However, the city will still have its annual fireworks show, Blast at Beulah, this Fourth of July at Beulah Park. Stage said the fireworks show is more manageable because the event uses less of the park.

Stage said the city also plans to launch a new event next year called the Grove City EcoFest, that will include two-day festivities and the same partners that previously supported Balloons and Tunes, including Mount Carmel Health Systems, Byers Auto and Sherwin Williams. The event will be designed to highlight all the LEED-certified projects in Grove City.

"(It'll be) much like Balloons and Tunes, but there won't be any balloons," Stage said. "This will be in 2015."

Penn National Gaming, owners of the 213-acre racetrack site, is moving Beulah Park's racing license to Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley, near Youngstown, which to open as a racetrack and casino this fall.

Local development firm Continental Real Estate Cos. is in negotiation with Penn National to purchase and redevelop the track property.

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