The National Balloon Classic lifts off tonight in Indianola for the 38th straight year. Classic executive director, Greg Marchant, says there’s a flight tonight, and then things really get going. He says they’ll have a morning flight Saturday, then the opening ceremonies Saturday night and the crowing of the queen, a mass launch of balloons and then fireworks. There’s a parade Saturday morning at 11 and an arts and crafts show and car show throughout the day.
Marchant says the events will run through next Saturday. Marchant says the flights usually begin at 6:30 in the morning and 6:30 in the evening, with the morning flights lasting until 9:30 and the evening flights until dark.
Marchant says there is a charge for some of the events. The admission prices for the Classic are: three dollars for adults or eight dollars per car load Friday through Sunday evening. It is two dollars for adults or six dallars per car load Monday through Thursday evening. Kids under 12 get in free. The morning events are free to everyone.
Marchant says they’ll have some special balloons. They’ll have the Woodrow C. Greenleaf tree balloon, Burgess the Penguin The Purple People Eater, and Air Bear. Marchant says the Off the Wall upside down Humpty Dumpty balloon was detained overseas and won’t make it. Marchant says there are some 90 balloons overall taking part. The Memorial Balloon Field is located two miles east of Indianola on Highway 92. For more info, call 1-800-FLY-IOWA or also visit the National Balloon Classic website.