Photo by Brett Nachtigall/Fall River County Herald-Star
As long as the weather is cooperative, a Night Glow will once again take place at the Hot Springs Municipal Airport on Saturday, Aug. 29 as part of the 5th Annual Fall River Hot Air Balloon Festival.
By Brett Nachtigall
HOT SPRINGS – While most of Hot Springs’ annual summertime events were postponed or cancelled this year due to coronavirus concerns, the fifth annual Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce Fall River Hot Air Balloon Festival is still scheduled to take place later this month on Aug. 29-30 – but modified slightly.
According to Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Olivia Mears, there are about 20 balloons expected to participate this year, which is the same number that did last year. Provided weather cooperates, launches are expected to take place again at 6 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday morning from the Hot Springs Municipal Airport. A Night Glow on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. is also part of the plans.
However, due to the current reconstruction of the Jennings Bridge near Centennial Park, there will not be any vendors or Kid Zone inflatables in downtown Hot Springs this year. The usual walk-in balloon at The Mammoth Site is also not taking place this year due to social-distancing concerns.
A new downtown event however that will be taking place this year is a fundraising pancake feed on Saturday, Aug. 29, in downtown Hot Springs from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m., as well as a 5K Fun Run at 8:30 a.m. Both events will take place in Centennial Park and are being hosted by the Southern Hills Recreation (SHRec).
“We are disappointed that we were not able to do the full scale festival, but we took the decision that it was better to offer some elements of the festival, rather than nothing at all,” Mears said. “Even if folks are at risk, they can still enjoy the launches from their vehicle. We will not be bringing the bleacher seating out to the airport, so we encourage folks to please bring their own camping chairs or picnic blankets.”
Mears said it would also be a good idea for those attending the launches to bring bug spray and their own refreshments or snacks.
“Since visitors to our community will be arriving early in the morning, we encourage businesses to open earlier than normal,” Mears added. “If your business has anything special planned for that day, please let us know so we can add it to our events schedule.”