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posted: 7/2/2014 12:00 PM

Lisle Eyes to the Skies: Festival by the numbers

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By Miles Dobis
mdobis@dailyherald.com

Some numbers you can use to dazzle your friends at Eyes to the Skies:

150,000: Visitors expected this year.

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350: Volunteers for the festival, according to co-chairman Fred Haber.

32,000: Hours volunteers will donate to help with setup, admissions, food and cleanup.

110: Total acres of Lisle's Community Park that will be exclusively dedicated to the festival.

20: Bands that will perform over two stages, including jangle-pop headliners Gin Blossoms, who have sold 7 million albums since their 1992 debut.

90,000: Cubic feet of the average envelope (what pilots call the chute) for a hot-air balloon at the festival. This doesn't include the skirt (what protects the flames from the wind) and stylistic additions to special shape balloons.

10: Sports balloons. These balloon pilots are certified and have tethered launches daily around 5:30 a.m. for free viewing. Tethered rides are available from 6 to 9 a.m. Friday and Saturday and 5 to 9 p.m. daily.

7: New special-shaped balloons at the festival this year, including patriotic starship American Rocket, Gordo the Monkey and Earth Balloon, which glows like a lantern during sunset flights.

4: Corporate balloons at the festivities, including the famous RE/MAX Balloon.

1982: When Eyes to the Skies began as an extension of Lisle's Sesquicentennial celebration (its 150th anniversary). The event has since been organized by Lisle Park District, the Kiwanis Club, and now a volunteer board.

54: Crafters who will set up shop on Short Street, according to co-chairwoman Wendy Nadeau. This year's craft fair will feature crafters from across the Midwest and U.S. and will include candlemakers, clothing outfitters, a sunglass hut, and face painting.

5: Days the carnival will be in Community Park, with a scrambler, swinging ship, children's roller coaster and more. Rides cost $1 per ticket, and Wednesday is Wristband Day, with $20 buying unlimited rides until closing.

36: Activities and shows presented at the children's area, located north of Short Street and the festival's crafter's row. Participants include Legoland Discovery Center and stage shows by magicians and reptile shows.

31: Food tents serving everything from Italian beef to kettle corn to Chicago-style pizza. Grub at the festival is divided into two separate food courts. The Main Food Court is in the Lisle High School parking lot north of Short Street, while the Riverview Food Court is between the balloon field and DuPage River.

4: The Fourth of July parade is at 11 a.m. and goes along Main Street before ending at the hall. Children ages 12 and younger can bring their decorated patriotic bike to Lisle Junior High School 15 minutes before the main parade starts to be judged and win a prize. All decorated bikes can then ride along the parade route.

3: Straight nights of fireworks presented at 9:45 p.m. Friday's show will be presented with a timed patriotic musical score.

1: Number of years Eyes to the Skies has worked with SkyCab Promotions, a promotions outfit with a head "balloonmeister," who oversees which particular shaped balloons are booked and if weather conditions are ideal.

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