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Schedule released for the Macomb Balloon Rally

The event is set for Sept. 8-9 at Western Illinois University's Vince Grady Field.

MACOMB, Ill. — The 2023 Macomb Balloon Rally will be held Friday and Saturday, Sept. 8-9, at Western Illinois University's Vince Grady Field, featuring races, music and food.

Two flights are scheduled during the event — one on Friday at 6 p.m. and one on Saturday morning at 6:45 a.m. and one Saturday night at 6 p.m. Flights launch from either Vince Grady Field or from launch sites within the community, then attempt to land on targets throughout Macomb. Weather must be suitable for flight, so you can monitor the status of each launch on the rally's Facebook page.

Saturday night will see JAB, or Just Another Band, play live in WIU's Showmobile from 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. Food trucks and vendors will set up on the west edge of Vince Grady Field throughout the evening.

The Balloon Glow event will start around 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. Pilots will set up their balloons on the field and light their burners, illuminating their balloons. Guests can walk between the baskets, meet the pilots and look at the balloons up close.

Here's the full schedule of events:

Friday, Sept. 8

  • 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. — WIU's Jazz Studio Orchestra plays on Vince Grady Field.
  • 6 p.m. — Balloon flight from Vince Grady Field, weather permitting.

Saturday, Sept. 8

  • 6:45 a.m. — Balloon flight from launch sites throughout Macomb
  • 6 p.m. — Balloon flight from throughout Macomb. Pilots will try to land on targets on Vince Grady Field.
  • 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. — Live music by JAB on Vince Grady Field, with food trucks and vendors.
  • 7:30 p.m. — Balloon Glow on the field.

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