It would be good to have something to look forward
to, some bright spot in the future that we can work toward.
Well, that bright spot is set to happen on Friday and Saturday,
August 28th and 29th. Thanks to local hot air balloon pilot Seth
Goodman ‘Balloons over Route 66’ will return again this year.
The last Lincoln Balloon Festival was held in 2017. There were no
balloons and no festival activities in 2018.
Goodman, who has been flying for several years and greatly enjoys
the challenges and thrills of piloting, missed having the balloons
come to his hometown. In 2019 he put together a downsized version of
the festival with private funding and help from friends and local
The event last year, and for this year as well, includes having
pilots and balloons scattered throughout the city and its outskirts.
Lift offs are planned to take place in the early morning and
evenings from those varied locations.
What’s different for this year is the location of the
‘Glow.’ Glows are when balloons stay earthbound and pilots light up
their balloon and the night sky by blasting flames while tethered to
In 2019, a number of the balloons came together at the city owned
property on Eighth Street for a night glow.
This year, the event will take on a slightly different structure in
an effort to keep down the number of spectators gathered in any one
“As you will see,” said Goodman, “pilots will be scattered amongst
the heart of, and just outside of Lincoln, Illinois throughout the
weekend in an effort to space everyone and everything out. Each
launch site offers ample space and will allow the public to watch
the launches [and] glows from a distance.”
The primary difference this year will be the location for the
Saturday evening glow event. While all the balloonists were gathered
together in one location last year, this year pilots will return to
their designated launch sites for glow activities.
Spectators will be encouraged to visit the sites of their favorite
balloons and watch while keeping their distance. Many of the
locations are wide open spaces where guests can watch from their
Currently, Goodman says there are 22 pilots who have signed up to
attend, which include a few new ones who have not been to Lincoln in
Pilots have been assigned to one of eight locations in and around
Lincoln with only two to four balloons per location.
Goodman also noted that pilots may ask to be reassigned. So, while
the list is complete, specific balloon locations are subject to
Launches will take place at each site on Friday evening August 28th
at approximately 6:15 p.m., Saturday morning, August 29th at 6:30
a.m. and Saturday evening at 6:15 p.m.
The glows will take place on Saturday evening from 8 p.m. to 8:30
Goodman also noted that to avoid large gatherings this year he is
not asking for people to show up at the sites if they want to crew a
balloon. He will be talking to prospective crew members one-on-one
and making assignments. Anyone who would like to crew may contact
Goodman directly beforehand to see if there are spots available.
The tentative balloon location launch sites for this year:
(Mayfair Subdivision just off North Kickapoo Street, Lincoln)
Pilots: Deb Griest, Tim Cloyd and Tom Klitz
1500 North McLean Street
Pilots: Al Reusch and Dan Reusch
1409 Pulaski Street
Immanuel Lutheran Church
Pilots: James Phelan and Jim Phelan
[to top of second column]
318 Eight Street
(Former ALMH now city owned lot)
Pilots: Seth Goodman, Cody Dorgan, Greg Saul and Darrel Day
1616 North Union Street
Pilots: Dennis Sutter and Patrick Shocklee
1386 and 1390 Pelican Hill Ct, Legends Subdivision
Ferguson and Nelson residences
Pilots: Kurt Vitense, Mike Boylan and Mike England
455 Campus View Drive
Pilots: Dave Doesdorfer, Scott Wooge and Pat Brouillet
1413 State Route 121
Pilots Dean Carlton, Chris Keefe and Alex Jonard
In addition to the balloons, the Oasis Senior Center will host a
vendor fair and a “corn/chicken feed” at the Senior Center at 2810
Hours will be:
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the vendor fair.
11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the corn and chicken feed.
So, while activities may not be the same as last year, Goodman and
the committee he works with have done the best they can to bring
something fun to the community without risking the health of our
Mark your calendars, pic your pilots and make a plan to go out and
enjoy the glory of balloons in flight.
And, as always, all launches are subject to weather conditions.