Annual balloon festival lifts off this weekend

It will be up, up and away in Highland Village during the 24th annual Lion’s Club Balloon Festival and Fair this weekend on the shores of Lake Lewisville at Copperas Branch Park.

From a humble beginning over twenty years ago when about two thousand people attended, it has grown to be the largest scheduled event in Denton County with upward of 25 thousand people expected to attend the festival August 19th-21st

The Tethered Balloon ride will return, so you’ll even have a chance to go up in a hot air balloon yourself, and attendees can expect several “firsts” this year, including the Texas debut of the Smokey the Bear balloon.

Piloted by Bill Chapel, Smokey the Bear is sponsored by The National Grassland in cooperation with the US Forest Service to promote fire prevention in Texas. In the midst of a long, hot summer, the timing couldn’t be better.      

Early birds can hit the festival at 7:00 a.m. Saturday, August 20th, and enjoy a pancake breakfast with The Village Grill while watching over 15 majestic hot air balloons take off or fly in.

Another first for this year’s festival is a car show on Saturday.  Highland Village Lions Club first vice-president Cindy Jones said participant entry is only $15 from 9-11:30 a.m. The first 50 entries will receive a t-shirt and dash plaque, and seven Best of Show awards will be given for Lions Club Choice, People’s Choice, 79’ and Older Car and Truck, 80’s and Newer Car and Truck, and Outstanding Club Participation.

“Along with more carnival rides than ever, this year for the first time we will also have an American Eagle Harley-Davidson Stationary Motorcycle Ride,” Jones added.

There truly will be something for everyone in the family, with live music on Friday and Saturday nights, arts and craft booths, and local business exhibitors.

You don’t have to eat before you go, either, as there will be food and drink concessions including roasted turkey legs, barbeque beef and pulled pork sandwiches, pork ribs, hamburgers, beer & wine and many other delicious items such as Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream and McAlister’s famous Iced Tea.

There will also be an on-site vision screening, and admission is still free with only a $5 donation for parking.

Bring a pair of eyeglasses or a cell phone for the soldiers and receive a free raffle ticket.  All proceeds benefit Lions Club charitable endeavors which include the Lions “Sight First” Blindness Prevention Program, Texas Lions Camp for Children, Lions Eyeglass Program, Leader Dog Program for the Blind, Lions Drug Awareness Program, Lions Eye and Organ Bank, Highland Village Police Youth Programs, Diabetes Awareness Program, Assistance to Sight and Hearing Impaired Children and Adults, Local Boy Scout and Cub Scout Organizations and Cub Scout pack 298.

You can bring a chair, a blanket and friend, but no coolers will be allowed. For the complete schedule of events, visit


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