October 01, 2022

Up, up and away

Like Dorothy and Toto in “The Wizard of Oz,” men, women and children can be swept away this weekend in the basket of a hot air balloon.

The 44th annual Hot Air Balloon Days festivities kick off today and last through Sunday evening. Shirts and sweatshirts commemorating the event are available at Creston Chamber of Commerce, 208 W. Taylor St.

The Friends of the Library will be hosting a used book sale from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday at the Pantry Event Center, 417 Wyoming Ave. Saturday, the sale will only be held from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event features gently used books, books on tape, CDs, DVDs and puzzles. Dinner tonight is served from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at McKinley Lake. The Kiwanis, Lions and Rotary clubs will host the pork chop dinner for $10 a ticket. The meal comes with baked beans, applesauce and ice cream. Proceeds go to community activities.

After the second day of the book sale wraps up Friday, the Hot Air Balloon Committee will be sponsoring a fun flight for pilots to practice at 5 p.m. Hot Air Brewing will close out the evening with their vinyl night where DJ Pablo Fahrenheit will be back at the turn table and taking requests.

Saturday starts bright and early - 6:30 a.m. at the airport to watch the balloon race. There will be food stands available for anyone who didn’t have time for a breakfast run. Following the race, tethered balloon rides will be available at 7:15 a.m at the airport. Runners and walkers will be lacing up their shoes for the Southern Prairie Family Fitness Center’s 5K run/walk at 8 a.m. in McKinley Park.

Uptown Creston will be busy all day. From 8 a.m. - 4 p.m., a craft fair and flea market will be happening on Maple St. Stop by the caboose which will also be open until 4 p.m. Southwestern Community College’s School for Music Vocations will have students performing from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. as a part of the Creston Arts Festival at the Creston Arts building uptown.

Check out the Creston Model Railroaders from 9 a.m. to noon at the Depot. There will also be a presidential doll display there all day. The parade starts at 10:30 a.m. and will feature marching bands, balloonists and more. The Historical Village will be open at McKinley park from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. for afternoon viewing. Hot Air Brewing will have a cornhole tournament starting a 1 p.m. at the brewery. There will be a Sk8 for Awareness skate competition at McKinley Park beginning at 3 p.m.

The airport will get busy again in the afternoon as the pet show starts at 2 p.m. with the pedal pull following at 2:30. Evening balloon races and more tethered rides will begin at 4:30 p.m. with the night glow to follow.

Sunday also begins at 6:30 a.m. with balloon races and food stands. For those with reservations, Hot Air Brewing is hosting Drag Brunch & Bingo at 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. at the brewery.

The festivities wind down with a Cancer Support Ministry community prayer walk at 6 p.m. at McKinley Park.

Parking at the airport south of Creston on Cherry Street is $1 per vehicle each time. For more information, visit our Balloon Days special section in today’s edition of the CNA.

Cheyenne Roche


Originally from Wisconsin, Cheyenne has a journalism and political science degree from UW-Eau Claire and a passion for reading and learning. She lives in Creston with her husband and their two little dogs.