Ballooning to take off in Muskogee

Dozens of colorful hot air balloons will lift off from Muskogee's Hatbox Field during the second annual Oklahoma Festival of Ballooning this weekend.

MUSKOGEE - Dozens of colorful hot air balloons will lift off from Muskogee's Hatbox Field, 4000 Border St., during the second annual Oklahoma Festival of Ballooning this weekend.

The gates open at 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Aug. 16-17.

Activities for the entire family include tether rides, helicopter rides, food trucks, kids' zone and more.

Country music newcomer Olivia Ooms begins the live entertainment both nights at 7:15 p.m. Live entertainment Friday night features John Fullbright at 7:30 p.m., and, on Saturday, Muskogee's own the Swon Brothers take the stage at 7:30 p.m.

The first annual "Up, Up and Away" 5k run and Fun Run will take place Saturday morning at 7 a.m. at Hatbox Sports Complex. All runners will have a chance to win one of several tethered hot air balloon rides. Medals will be awarded for the top three in each 5k age group and trophies for top three overall 5k male and female. The course is a USATF Certified course. For registration information, visit "Up, Up and Away" 5k. The purchase of VIP tickets include: VIP parking, canopy with shaded seating area and beverage sales, tethered balloon for VIP guests (additional fee applies), and prime viewing of the hot air balloons. VIP parking is at 500 S. 40th St. Attendees must show printed VIP ticket for entrance. VIP tickets are available at Eventbrite. General admission parking is at Hatbox, and costs $10 per vehicle. More information is at www.okballoonfestival.com.