The Cedar Rapids Freedom Festival's annual Balloon Glow is coming up quick, and this year's celebration will actually include four different events! Here is everything you need to know for Balloon Glow 2024:

When/where is Balloon Glow?

How much does it cost?

Balloon Glow is free with a Freedom Festival Button. Buttons are $10 each and can be purchased at the gate at Freedom Festival events, or in advance at the Freedom Festival Office, Hy-Vee Food & Drug Stores in Cedar Rapids and Marion, and Hy-Vee Fast & Fresh Gas Stations in Cedar Rapids and Marion.

Where do I park?

Event organizers recommend street parking around Jones Park, with golf carts helping attendees with pick-up/drop-off at the park's entrance. Additional parking will be available at the Kirkwood Continuing Education Training Center at 101 50th Ave SW, with a shuttle transporting guests to and from the park.

Aside from the hot air balloons, else is happening at Balloon Glow?

The first event to kick off on June 22nd at Jones Park will be the Bohemian Flea Market from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. Attendees will be able to shop vintage, upcycled, and handmade products from different vendors.

From 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., the Volta Youth Music & Art Festival will be held by the Eastern Iowa Arts Academy. A number of local bands will perform, including eight of the academy's youth bands. The Freedom Festival website says:

"The bands will include a variety of genres such as blues, indie, country, 80’s, and pop music. Additionally, their art students will have the opportunity to display and sell their art to the community."

The final event ahead of Balloon Glow is the Corridor Running Balloon Glow 5k & 10k at 4 p.m. The race will be held throughout Jones Park and the golf course. It's $45 for the 5k and $50 for the 10k. You can register in advance HERE.

After all of the other activities come to an end, the band BirdChild will take the stage at 7 p.m. and will play as the balloons light up the night sky. A Kids Zone will also happen from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., with activities from AirFX, Tough Entertainment, and Funny Face Designs by Lori.

Will there be food and drinks for sale?

Yes! A number of food vendors will be on-hand, including:

  • Americana
  • Aroma Pizza
  • Caribbean Kitchen
  • Kona Ice
  • Dotti’s Kitchen & Craft Creation
  • Los Ortega’s Pupuseria
  • Smiley’s Soup and Sandwich
  • That’s So Cheesy
  • Hy-Vee
  • Bass Farms
  • Pitaz Mediterranean

What happens if there's bad weather?

According to the Freedom Festival website, Balloons are NOT a guarantee if the weather doesn't cooperate. It says that, "every effort will go into having balloons, but safety is our #1 priority. All updates to weather or cancelation will be made on our social media channels. NO REFUNDS ON BUTTONS."

If the weather permits, the caution tape around the balloon area will be removed and attendees will be able to get up close and personal with the balloons!

And finally... do the hot air balloons go up in the air?

No. They are just lit up from the ground.

For more information on all of this year's Cedar Rapids Freedom Festival events, check out the official website HERE.

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