With the end of summer approaching fast and the kids getting ready to go back to school, you’ll want to be looking for some fun things around town to give the season one last hurrah. As luck would have it, there’s no shortage of events here in Shawnee around this time of year, especially with Fireflight Balloon Fest and Outdoor Nation Expo (ONE) becoming some of our city’s biggest recurring events. Curious to learn more? Read on! We’ll go over the essentials in this guide to 2019’s Fireflight and ONE.
Fireflight Balloon Fest is going into its third concurrent year of family-friendly entertainment. Watch 25 balloons fill the sky, catch quality live entertainment, and experience some of Oklahoma’s best vendors and food trucks all gathered together August 9-10 at Firelake Parks, 1702 S. Gordon Cooper Drive.
As for untethered rides, all of the commercial balloon flights have been sold out as of the writing of this article. If you’re interested in going up in a balloon, never fear: tethered rides are on a first-come first-serve basis.
Featured musical acts will include Shiloh Steel, Vince Vanlandingham and the Outlaws, and American Idol’s Cade Foehner. There will also be performances by artists featured on “Play it Loud!”, an Emmy award-winning production, such as Hosty and Kalo. If that isn’t enough, look forward to enchanting performances by traditional native dancers and drummers.
Family-friendly activities at Fireflight include inflatables, clowns, carnival rides, a petting zoo, basketball, face painting, and plenty more. Kids zone activities will be free, but you’ll need to buy either tickets or wristbands for the carnival. Each ticket costs $1 and each ride requires 4 tickets, but wristbands are available for $20. You’ll want to bring cash if you want to buy tickets or wristbands. There will also be a fireworks show at the end of the first day, so you won’t want to miss that!
For all of you athletes, there will also be a Fireflight 5K Run/Walk the morning of Saturday, August 10th. Registration is only $25, the race features professional chip timing, and participants will receive a custom race medal. Whether you’re the speediest around or you want to go along with your kids, the race will let you go at your own pace!
Outdoor Nation Expo is back for its second year in a row and enthusiasts of all things outdoors will want to check it out! From hunting to fishing, camping to mountaineering, with vendors for adults and fun activities for kids, there’s plenty to do at ONE. The expo will run from August 9-11 at the FireLake Arena, 18145 Old Rangeline Road.
Some of the unique offerings at ONE will include special interest evening socials and a banquet, a film festival, an ATV safety course and supplies for hunting, fishing, camping, shooting, and backpacking.
Family-friendly activities at ONE include go-karts, a rock climbing wall, a live dog show, indoor cat-fishing, laser archery, BB gun shooting, and other booths. There will also be a number of kids’ competitions at the expo, including a Youth Archery Tournament, featuring three different levels of skill from beginner to advanced. Free to everyone, the tournament should give all young and aspiring archers something to sharpen their skills. There will also be the Perchmaster Classic Youth Fishing Derby, free for kids of all ages and offering awesome prizes. Look for Booth #90 inside the arena if you’re interested in any of the contests.