The Centralia Balloon Fest attracts more then 40,000 visitors very year to the city of Centralia. This festival, which is held in the city’s Foundation Park, started in 1990 and for the past 30 years, has grown to include a full weekend of a variety of vendors and craft fairs, various food trucks, car show, live bands, cardboard boat races, fireworks, tethered hot air balloon rides, hot air balloon glows, hot air balloon races, children’s activities, and other family-fun entertainment.
This year’s festival will look different than it has for the past 30 years. Due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, and to ensure the health and safety of the public while following the guidelines of the local and State government, the 2020 Centralia Balloon Fest will be a Marion county-wide event that will featuring more than twenty hot air balloons that will be flying over the Centralia area the weekend of August 21st through the 23rd. Balloon enthusiasts and spectators will be able to be socially responsible by socially distancing and wearing masks while they look towards the sky to see hot air balloons soaring over. There will also be two drive-through hot air balloon glows which will give spectators the opportunity to still experience the magic of a hot air balloon glow and from the safety of their own vehicle.
Heritage Woods of Centralia has been a Balloon Fest sponsor for over five years. Heritage Woods is one of twenty-five local businesses and organizations that sponsors a hot air balloon for the Centralia Balloon Fest. As a sponsor, Heritage Woods helps provide the volunteers that help crew the balloon during the weekend. This gives Heritage Woods staff an exciting opportunity to volunteer and be safely up-close to a hot air balloon while learning the skills of what it takes to crew a balloon. In the past, various staff have shared stories and balloon photos of their crewing experience with the residents of Heritage Woods.