Indianola Classic balloon parade

Indianola Classic balloon parade route

Anyone planning to participate in the balloon parade at 11 a.m., Saturday, July 27, has some new incentives.

Prizes.

The Classic parade committee will recognize first, second and third-places among parade entries. Entries will be judged on one criteria — how well they show off this year’s theme, On The Rise.

“A lot of people the last couple of years have been really participating in different types of balloon themes,” said Becky Needles, who is chairing the parade this year. “We thought we would recognize people for going all out.”

They also will present a trophy for crowd favorite. Judges will be stationed around the Square and then will meet after the parade to discuss who got the most “ooohs” and “aaahs,” she said.

Needles said the parade will start at E Street and Girard Avenue before going east on Girard to Howard, turning south on Howard and then going west on Salem and turning north on Buxton. The parade will end at the Warren County Administration Building.

The parade will offer a bit of a twist this year, according to Terry Pauling of the Indianola Rotary Club. The club agreed to collect food for the Helping Hand food pantry. Parade attendees are encouraged to bring contributions of food that Rotary will collect and take to Helping Hand.

While registrations were due Monday, Needles say they likely won’t turn any parade participants away. The parade has averaged about 45 participants in recent years, not including the pilots who turn up with the trucks and hot air balloons if time allows. While organizing all of that is a lot of works, Needles says it adds up to a lot of community fun.

“It’s a good community event,” she said. “It brings people out to the Square, kids and adults always like the parades. That’s what keeps us motivated to do it.”

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