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posted: 8/19/2014 12:48 PM

Color Aloft hot-air balloon festival returns for second year in Grayslake

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  • Grayslake's hot-air balloon festival, Color Aloft, returns Saturday, Aug. 23, at Central Park.

       Grayslake's hot-air balloon festival, Color Aloft, returns Saturday, Aug. 23, at Central Park.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer 2013

  • Grayslake's hot-air balloon festival, Color Aloft, returns Saturday, Aug. 23, at Central Park. This man held a crown line as balloons were launched for last year's inaugural event.

       Grayslake's hot-air balloon festival, Color Aloft, returns Saturday, Aug. 23, at Central Park. This man held a crown line as balloons were launched for last year's inaugural event.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer 2013

 
 

Grayslake's Central Park will be the venue for the village's second hot-air balloon festival.

Color Aloft is set for Saturday, Aug. 23. The free event is set to run from 4 to 9 p.m., but organizers said the times are approximate and are weather dependent.

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Several activities are scheduled from 4 to 6 p.m.

Color Aloft will begin with a welcome for the crowd and introductions from the main stage at 4 p.m. at Central Park in the downtown area, followed by an old-fashioned baseball game about 10 minutes later on the property toward Lake Street. Storyteller Jim May is set to entertain at 4:30 p.m.

If all goes according to plan, balloons will be launched from 5:30 to 7 p.m. A night glow is expected from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m., with visitors getting to view the roughly 7-story balloons while tied down and internally illuminated by burners.

Grayslake Village Board Trustee Bruce Bassett championed the idea for the festival idea before the inaugural event in 2013. He said he collaborated on it with a retired hot-air balloonist who lives in the village.

West suburban Lisle has had the granddaddy of area hot-air balloon festivals with Eyes to the Skies. It was held for the 32nd consecutive year during the Fourth of July holiday.

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