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Friday, July 15, 2005 2:24:05 PM - Monroe Ohio



Hot air balloon fans arriving for the launches at Smith Park in downtown Middletown during Ohio Challenge Hot Air Balloon Festival  July 22-24, 2005 should plan to arrive early and stay awhile after the launch times to avoid traffic congestion that inevitably occurs when everyone tries to arrive at the same place at the same time.

Balloons usually take flight at approximately 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., however, launch times vary according to the wind conditions.


There are many activities planned to entertain the guests at Ohio Challenge before and after the set balloon launch times including musical groups, balloon glows, a full scale carnival, arts and crafts and festival foods. Even at times when the balloons cannot fly due to high winds, there is a full scale festival to entertain those who visit Ohio Challenge.


To make entrance and exit as smooth as possible, guests as asked to observe the few temporary changes in traffic patterns on the nearby streets. All guests in vehicles enter Smith Park from Tytus Avenue which will be closed to non-festival traffic from Verity Parkway to Reinartz Boulevard.  Broad Street will also we festival traffic only from Reinartz to Tytus.  Vehicles may exit from two points Wilbraham Road and Tytus Avenue. There is no vehicle entrance from Wilbraham Road or the airport access road.


Those parking on-site will pay a one-time $10 parking fee per vehicle and receive a pass good for the entire weekend. Pre-sale passes are now available at $7 at Mid-First Credit Union on Towne Blvd near Towne Mall in Middletown. 


Those walking into Smith Park may enter from Wilbraham Road, the main entrance off Tytus and the footbridge from Tytus near Reinartz. Admission is free.


Out of town guests are directed to take I-75 to Exit 32, Middletown, and follow the signs to downtown Middletown.


For more information, contact Ohio Challenge at 513-259-3796 or visit


The Ohio Challenge is hosted by The Chamber of Commerce serving Middletown, Monroe and Trenton. Primary sponsor is MidFirst Credit Union.

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