Hot Air Balloon Days events schedule

A full weekend of events is slated for the 36th Annual Southwest Iowa Hot Air Balloon Days in Creston.

The activities start with a pork chop dinner at McKinley Park 4:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday. Tickets are $8 each for a dinner, drink and dessert. Below are some of the scheduled events. For a complete list, see the Balloon Days special section to be published in Thursday’s CNA.

FRIDAY FUN FLIGHT*: Some balloonists will take to the sky Friday night to set the tone for the weekend activities. Also Friday, Friends of the Library will have a collectors night 4 to 8 p.m. at Lincoln School for their used book sale.

BALLOON RACE* AND CHASE: The Creston Municipal Airport will host the first balloon race* scheduled 6 a.m. Saturday. The direction of the race is dependent on wind conditions. Also Saturday, at McKinley Park, Southern Prairie YMCA is sponsoring a 5K run. Participants need to be at the starting line by 8 a.m.

PARADE: Area marching bands, balloonists and many other participants will navigate the streets of uptown Creston for the Balloon Days parade 10:30 a.m. Saturday.

AIRPORT ACTIVITIES: Spectators have a full list of activities at the Creston Municipal Airport. The pet show at 2 p.m. is open to anyone through the age of 12, but animals must be on a leash or in a cage. The kid’s pedal pull is after at 2:30 p.m. Another balloon race* and a night glow* — balloonist light up their balloons to contrast the night sky — are slated for 4:30 p.m. and dusk, respectively.

SUNDAY BREAKFAST: Stop by the airport for the final balloon race* of the weekend 6:30 a.m. Sunday. Food stands will have breakfast available for purchase from 6 to 10 a.m.

* All balloon activities are weather dependent. The current forecast from the National Weather Service has mostly clear skies with highs in the mid 70s for the Creston area this weekend.