So much to see and do at this year's Art and Balloon Fest
August 18, 2012, By Andi Hake, Executive Director of the Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce, The Lincoln Art & Balloon Festival started as a humble art fair which over the last thirty-nine years has expanded to include a juried Fine Art Fair, a Craft Fair, a Flea Market, a Kansas City Barbeque Society sanctioned BBQ Competition, a wine tasting event, “The Art of Wine,” and let’s not forget the beautiful Hot Air Balloons.
On August 24, 25, and 26, approximately 15,000 people, 33 balloonists, fifty flea marketers, fifty-five crafters, and seventy fine artists will come take in the attractions of this small historic city located thirty miles north of Springfield, IL along interstate 55. The city is also located along the famous Route 66 which of course mandates that the event have a car show around the downtown square.
Historically, Lincoln, IL (pop. 14,504) is the only town named for Abraham Lincoln prior to his becoming president. President Lincoln practiced law in Lincoln from 1847 to 1859, assisting with the platting of the town and also serving as counsel for the railroad which led to the founding of the town. On August 27, 1853, Lincoln was asked to participate in a naming ceremony in which he broke open a watermelon and squeezed the juice onto the ground. Local residents take great pride in their historical beginnings as can be seen in the beautiful, historical downtown square, brick streets, and the Chamber of Commerce’s famous “Melon Car”.
As a weekend getaway, the annual Lincoln Art & Balloon Festival presents a perfect time to take in the city of Lincoln. For those trying to complete their “bucket list,” you can register for a private balloon ride or buy tickets at the festival to go for a tethered balloon ride.
The Fine Art Fair hosts a diverse group of artists, including: glass, textiles, pottery, wood, folk art, and much more. New to this year’s festival, the KCBS sanctioned “Up in Smoke on the Square” BBQ competition will feature BBQ competitors from all over and is sure to be a “tasty” event. There is nothing like the sweet and spicy aroma of BBQ in the wind to make people’s mouths water. The festival will also feature carnival rides, a wonderful array of food venders, street entertainers, and several bands performing throughout the weekend.
For more information about this event, you may visit the Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce’s website at www.lincolnillinois.com or call 1-217-735-2385. For more information about Lincoln, you may also contact Logan County Tourism at 1-217-732-8687 or visit their website at www.tourlogancounty.com.