Looking for a fun, family-friendly way to celebrate the end of summer? Two fantastic events have partnered up to take Shawnee by storm, starting August 10th. These events are the Fireflight Balloon Festival and the Outdoor Nation Expo (O.N.E.); between their family-oriented activities and free admission, you’ll have no excuse to be a couch potato during this exciting weekend!
What’s big, colorful, and dots the horizon as they soar into the skies? That would be the hot air balloons from the Fireflight Balloon Festival, of course! A relatively recent development in terms of annual events, Fireflight not only brings hot air balloon flights and glows to the Shawnee area, but also vendors, food trucks, and live entertainment. Last year, the balloon festival brought thousands of people into town, and this year we’ve even received messages from people as far as the United Kingdom interested in info about the event.
The festival begins at 4 p.m. on August 10th at the Citizen Potawatomi Nation Powwow Grounds, on Heritage Road west of S. Gordon Cooper Drive. Tethered balloon rides will begin at 6 p.m. both days, while balloon glows light up at 8:30 p.m. The festivities will include a kids’ zone, petting zoo, carnival and live music from performers including Shiloh Steel, Super Freak, Amanda Coffee, Wight Lighters, Vince Van and Zodiac.
If you want to ride in a balloon untethered, act fast! Rides are limited, and you’ll need to pay a $50 nonrefundable deposit at the time of reservation, and $200 in cash when you check in for the flight. Other events at Fireflight include kite performances and a 5K race. For exact times and details, check out the event schedule over on the event’s website!
While Fireflight is going on at the Powwow Grounds, you’ll be able to find O.N.E. getting down to business over at the FireLake Arena at 18145 Old Rangeline Road! The show opens at 11 a.m. on August 10th, where you’ll be able to find all sorts of vendors and displays promoting hunting, fishing, camping, shooting, backpacking and the Outdoor Nation lifestyle! Hunting and fishing enthusiasts will feel right at home here.
With plenty of vendors for adults, O.N.E. hasn’t forgotten to provide lots of fun and informative activities for kids! These include youth archery training and competition, a film festival, go karts, a rock climbing wall, a live dog show, indoor cat-fishing, laser archery, a BB gun shoot and much more! There’s bound to be something for your whole family, especially if your whole bunch is passionate about the great outdoors. You can find more information on their website, here.
At the end of the day, if you find yourself bored on the weekend of August 10th, you must not be paying attention. Head on down to Fireflight or O.N.E. and no matter where you decide to go, you’ll be in for a world of fun! Don’t forget that you can always check the events page on Visit Shawnee’s website for more information.