Disney princesses invading Canton for Fourth


Festival-goers can expect run-ins with hot air balloon pilots, funk monsters, Disney princesses and superheroes this weekend in Canton at the 36th annual Mississippi Championship Hot Air Balloon Fest.

The festival, one of Canton’s major signature events, is a collaboration between Canton Tourism, the Mid-Mississippi Balloon Association, Ridgeland Recreation & Parks and The Good Samaritan Center.

“This event brings pilots and crews from all over the country and what better place to celebrate our country’s Independence Day than right here in small-town USA, Canton, Mississippi,” said Jana Dear executive director of Canton Tourism.

Festivities start on the evening of Thursday, July 1, on Canton’s Historic Square. The launch party will include a headlining performance from Dr. Zarr and the Amazing Funk Monsters. Opening for Dr. Zarr will be the top three winners from the Mississippi Song Writers competition. 

Festival-goers will be encouraged to keep an eye out for special appearances from superheroes and Disney princesses. Magically Perfect will have Repunzel, Spider-Man, Belle and Ariel roaming the square on Thursday evening. Spider-Man and Ariel will also be at the festivities on Saturday joined by Wonder Woman and Tiana.

Dear said standard fare such as food vendors and face painting will be available Thursday evening. 

Balloon races will be featured Friday at 6 a.m. and Saturday at 7 a.m. at the Canton Multipurpose Center. 

Festival-goers are encouraged to attend the Balloon Glow in Ridgeland at Northpark Mall starting at 5 p.m. on Friday evening.

Canton Tourism administrative assistant Stacey Hodges said that the marquee event of the weekend will Saturday evening at the Multipurpose Center starting at 6:30 p.m.

“On Saturday evening people can come and sit and watch the balloons, talk to the pilots and crew and go up in the balloons,” Hodges said.

Good Samaritan executive director Kathy Clem said that they will host their annual Good Samaritan’s $5,000 Golf Ball Drop Fundraiser at 8 p.m.

“We want folks to know that they can have a great time, and yet make a difference for our community,” Clem said.

Fireworks are scheduled for 9 p.m.

The Balloon Chase Bike Ride is also slated for Saturday morning.

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