July 11, 2011 The 9th annual MidUSA Ohio Challenge Hot Air Balloon festival in Middletown will take to the skies this weekend, July 15-16-17. Hours are 4-10 pm Friday, 7-11am and 4-10 pm Saturday and 7-11 am Sunday. Admission during the evening festival is $8 per carload OR $3 per adult walk-in. Children 12 and under are free. Morning flights are free with parking inside the park.
For the best experience, organizers suggest entering via the Middletown Regional Airport to park and taking the free shuttle buses to the festival gate. (GPS 1800 Germantown Rd-next to Frisch’s).
The on-site experience includes not only the balloon flights (weather permitting) but a full festival with Team Fastrax skydivers, a trackless train, carnival, food, arts & crafts, American Indian village, a Kids Discovery Tent, cold air walk-thru balloon, tethered hot air balloon rides, helicopter rides, WGRR DJ LunaMan on Friday night, Dueling Pianos on Saturday night, and balloon glows both nights ending with Team Fastrax pyrotechnics.
For those who enjoy the early morning experience, the competing balloons will launch away from the site and attempt to fly in to hit a target with a 3-ounce bag of beans to score points toward their national standings and possibly winning the Ohio Challenge or the Ohio State Champion award. On Saturday morning, guests may also have a pancake breakfast on site. Tethered balloon rides are available during morning flights.
All balloon flights and glows are narrated by professional balloon announcer Rob Otto who shares information about each balloon and the unusual sport of hot air balloon competition.
For more information, contact 513-705-1770 or visit www.ohiochallenge.com.