It’s been a while, but there is finally a ripple of excitement around Danville as the annual hot-air balloon festival — Balloons over Vermilion — makes its long-awaited return to the community.
The coronavirus pandemic wreaked havoc with so many things in the past year that it was easy to lose track of what we were missing. But the void in July of the hot-air balloon festival certainly was among the most heart-breaking losses of community events.
The action will officially begin on Friday at the Vermilion Regional Airport and continue through Saturday. The summer temperatures are forecast to dip a bit, which would be good for spectators, but the rain is expected to be a bit unpredictable, especially on Saturday. Everyone will be hoping for the best.
More than 30 hot-air balloons will be waiting to take to the skies on Friday and Saturday and organizers are enthusiastic about the event and some of the changes on the ground they have made for this year. In addition to the balloons, there will be music, as usual, to entertain and delight visitors.
Planning has been challenging, to be sure, but we commend the directors and volunteers for their willingness to keep charging ahead despite the issues created by the lingering public health crisis. The group has remained focused on their goal of providing a safe, family-oriented event.
To get a flavor of all that is offered at the event this year, we encourage you to spend some time with the special magazine that was inserted into today’s print edition of the Commercial-News. You will find complete and up-to-date schedules for events throughout the weekend, and colorful photos of the hot-air balloons and their pilots. Look also for a link to the magazine on our website, www.commercial-news.com.
Balloons over Vermilion is one of the community’s most highly anticipated events of the year, and we salute the organization for making it possible once again. And we encourage everyone to take advantage of the opportunity to attend this spectacular event and join in the celebration of all this community has to offer.