Journal Express, Knoxville, IA


July 13, 2012

Balloon Festival begins tonight

Lake Red Rock —  

The second annual Red Rock Balloon Fest is scheduled for July 13-15 at Lake Red Rock.

This collaborative effort involving the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce, Pella Convention and Visitors Bureau, Red Rock Lake Association (RRLA) and the Army Corps of Engineers was successful in its first outing. This year is expected to be even better, with more activities and more balloons. 

“The goal is to bring people out,” RRLA President Matt Kissinger said. There are at least 27 balloons scheduled to take part in the event. In addition, cross country teams from Knoxville and Pella are hosting 5K and 10K runs Saturday morning (July 14). Vendors, a volleyball tournament and other activities are planned. 

“We wanted to make it more,” Organizer Melinda O'Field said. 

Friday night's activities (July 13) include the first launch of the balloons at 6 p.m. Parking and best viewing of the balloon launch for the public will be at North Overlook Beach, according to Kissinger. Sand volleyball contests will take place and the band Nemo Orchestra is scheduled to play from 7-10 p.m. 

One could spend much of their Saturday, July 14, at the lake enjoying activities. The next balloon launch will take place at 6 a.m. During the balloon contests, the balloonists will be able to earn points by dropping bags onto targets around the lake. 

A pancake breakfast will be served at North Overlook from 7-10 a.m. A “Show and Go” bike ride will begin at 7:30 a.m., at University and Fifth in Pella. Bicyclists will follow the trail to the lake. 

The 5K and 10K are scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. Entry fee is $25, and applications are available at All proceeds from the race go to support the Knoxville and Pella cross country teams. Races begin at the beach on North Overlook. 

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