High flying fun for the whole family

Once a year for the last 25 years, hot air balloons have filled the skies over Highland Village, thanks to the local Lion’s Club that sponsors a balloon festival each year.

This year, the event is set for August 17-19 at Copperas Branch Park, where up to twenty thousand people are expected for the festivities that will include the launching of around 20 hot air balloons.

“It’s fun for the entire family,” said Festival Chairman Cindy Jones. “Our balloon festival is a little different than most and you can get up close to the balloons and talk to the pilots,” she said.

The event benefits the charities that the Lion’s Club supports, and there will be collection boxes for eyeglasses, sunglasses, lenses, frames, eyeglass cases and old cell phones.

Jones said she got involved in the Lion’s Club because she knew they supported efforts to help provide eyeglasses for those in need, and her own mother was suffering from macular degeneration. “It’s a little bit of payback,” she added.

In addition to the balloons, there will be a myriad of activities including carnival rides, arts & crafts booths, a food court, bounce houses, sledge hammer car bash, helicopter rides and a classic car show.

The line up for live bands includes The Revival, Incognito, Brannon Barrett, and the Craig Spence Project.

Admission is free with a $5 donation for parking, and the gates open at 5 p.m. Friday, August 17th.  Find the complete schedule at www.hvballoonfest.com.

To get the community ready for the event, the Lion’s Club is teaming up with The Shops at Highland Village to hold a Back To School Lift Off this Tuesday, Aug. 7, from 6-9 p.m. featuring a classic car show, kid zone, Smokey The Bear, live entertainment by Diva Gee, free vision screening for all ages and a hot air balloon glow.

The event will take place in the mall area between Barnes & Noble, AMC Theaters, Blue Goose, & Rockfish Grill.

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