Balloons festival begins this week

Lucas Aulbach

Bowling Green’s 20th annual U.S. Bank Balloons, Tunes and BBQ will be this weekend at the Bowling Green/Warren County Regional Airport.

The airport is located at 1000 Woodhurst St., but people are asked to enter the event from Lovers Lane, according to the event’s website.

The event will begin Thursday night and will end Sunday.

Several events from previous years will be returning as part of this year’s festival, said Shala Hudson, executive assistant at U.S. Bank, the festival’s title sponsor.

Thursday night there will be several activities for children, including an inflatable fair and a talent show.

Friday night will feature the sixth annual Bowling Green Idol, in which local audition-winners will perform on-stage and be scored by a panel of judges, Hudson said. Another event, the Hare and Hound Hot Air Balloon race, will headline for more balloon events on Saturday afternoon.

Hudson said about 33 balloons are scheduled to be a part of this year’s festival. 

“The hot air balloon shows have been my favorite in past years … it’s a big event,” she said.

On Saturday night there will be some musical entertainment from local bands Floord and Easy Street, as well as acts by country singers Nick Hoffman and Rhett Akins, Hudson said.

And on Sunday morning, the balloons from the weekend will perform a final fly-in, she said.

Money raised from the event will be given to the United Way of Southern Kentucky, said Mandy Hicks, the director of volunteering and brand management at United Way.

United Way is an local non-profit organization that supports health and human services, according to its website.

“Balloons, Tunes and BBQ makes no money for itself, but all money made is given to United Way,” she said. 

Patrons can make donations to the cause at the event. Hicks said there are no specifics about what the money will be put towards.

“All the money will stay right here in southern Kentucky,” she said.