Canton hosting Balloon Fest
CANTON — The Mississippi Championship Hot Air Balloon Fest returns for its 38th year this week offering tons of fun for the whole family.
JoAnn Gordon, executive director of Canton Convention and Visitors Bureau and Film Office, said the Balloon Fest is the oldest balloon festival in the state.
“We started out with 11 balloons in 1986 and the festival has continued to grow and be a family tradition,” Gordon said.
“We encourage families to come out over the Fourth of July weekend and see the majesty of these balloons. If you have never seen a hot air balloon, it is unbelievably beautiful. We’re very proud of the festival, as it has not only maintained its popularity but also maintained its tradition of being for families and being together.”
The festival begins on Thursday, June 29, and runs through Saturday, July 1.
Laura Prince, events coordinator for Canton Tourism, said new children’s activities are planned this year along with new food vendors, new activities, different forms of entertainment, and more.
“We’re trying to provide everyone with a wonderful and fun few days,” Prince said. “The launch party will be a lot of fun.”
The Launch Party will be on the historic Courthouse Square in Canton on June 29 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., where participants can enjoy shopping, food and beverage trucks, and live music from Doug Hurd and Larry Brewer.
Food vendors for Thursday include Funny Face Foods, Marlo’s Backyard BBQ, Green Ghost Tacos, Boosted Bean Coffee Co., and Crunch Time Concessions.
Festivities continue on Friday, June 30 at 6 a.m. with a Competition Flight at the Canton Multipurpose Center on 501 Soldiers Colony Road. Canton Tourism is partnering with Ridgeland Recreation and Parks for their annual Celebrate America Balloon Glow at 6 p.m.
Saturday, July 1 is the day of the main event. The festival begins at 5 p.m. at the Canton Multipurpose Center and ends at 9 p.m. The festival includes live music from the Travelin’ Jane Band, a balloon chase run/walk, balloon glow, Good Samaritan’s Golf Ball Drop Fundraiser, and fireworks to end the night.
Food vendors for July 1 include Funny Face Foods, Crunch Time Concessions, Green Ghost Tacos, Boosted Bean Coffee Co., and Incredible BBQ & Soulfood.
For more information, visit www.cantontourism.com or call (601) 859-1307.