Balloonfest file art

Pictured are balloons taking off from Freer Field in 2015.  (File photo)

ASHLAND — North central Ohio residents can watch a colorful display of hot air balloons fly over Ashland on Saturday evening and Sunday morning.

The "29th ½ Ashland BalloonFest Flyover" is set for this weekend in lieu of traditional Ashland BalloonFest festivities, canceled earlier this year due to COVID-19 concerns. 

Seventeen pilots are set to take off from various locations Saturday between 6:45 and 7 p.m. and again Sunday between 7 and 8 a.m. 

“This shows great support for our event. Normally, the pilots are coming and have some competition flights, but this is just to support the event and the community,” said Mindi White, the event planning committee president.

The event typically draws between 22 to 25 pilots from Ohio and surrounding states. 

White asked the community to watch the Ashland BalloonFest’s Facebook page for additional details on this weekend’s flights. How and where the balloons can fly depends on the direction of the wind, she explained. 

Pilots will meet Saturday shortly before 6 p.m. and information will be posted to Facebook directly afterwards. 

“Our goal is to get them in the air to go across the city, and we’re trying to spread them out so there’s not a mass gathering,” White said. 

Additionally, BalloonFest t-shirts are being sold through Superior Merch. 

The traditional Ashland BalloonFest will resume June 24 through 27, 2021, as the 30th annual event.

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