2nd Annual Hot Air Balloon & Sport Aviation Show Comes to Metro-East

MARINE, IL: (STLRestaurant.News) – If you thought a rainy St. Louis weekend had spoiled your chance to marvel at the majesty of billowing, colorful hot air balloons, you’d be wrong.  They’ll fill the skies in the metro-east September 23, 24 and 25 at the second annual Balloons Over Marine Hot Air Balloon and Sport Aviation Show.  The main event will be at the Marine Village Park, 155 North Duncan Street, with additional activities at the nearby Lions Park and Firemen’s Park.  Once in town, signs will point the way.

Marine, Illinois is in Madison County, just east of Edwardsville, and about 30-minutes east of downtown St. Louis along Interstate-70.  The balloon and aviation festival will bring all sorts of flying machines, music, food and fun to this small town starting at 4:00 p.m. Friday.  There are balloon glows scheduled for both Friday and Saturday evenings.  Balloon launches will take place all three days, and breakfast will be available on Saturday and Sunday starting at 7:00 a.m.

In addition to the hot air balloons, the festival will include helicopters, gliders, RC model airplanes and drones, powered parachutes, skydivers, hang gliders, kite flying and more.  There’s even a 5K run Saturday morning.  And those 18 and younger can sign up for a free airplane ride through the EAA’s Young Eagle Program.  The rides will be given at a later date from one of several metro-east airports.

New this year: From 9-10:00 a.m. Sunday, the World Bird Sanctuary will conduct a demonstration of birds of prey in a show called “Raptor Awareness.”  The show will feature American eagles, falcons, hawks, owls and buzzards.  Some will do flight demonstrations.

The festival is free, although some attractions (think helicopter rides) do carry a fee.  All proceeds will benefit the Marine community, going for park improvements, a new veterans’ memorial and grade school.

Street parking is free, but fills up fast.  So fair-goers are advised to come early.  Some off street parking with shuttle service may be available, if the crops are cut it time!  This is rural Madison County after all.


  • 3-10 p.m. Music, Food & Exhibits
  • 5-6 p.m. Balloon Inflation & Launch
  • 8 p.m. Balloon Glow


  • 7 a.m. Continental Breakfast & Balloon Launch
  • 9 a.m. – 10 p.m. Demonstrations, Exhibits, Kids Activities, Food, Music & More
  • 5-6 p.m. Balloon Inflations & Launch
  • 8 p.m. Balloon Glow


  • 7-10 a.m. Continental Breakfast & Balloon Launch
  • 9 a.m. World Bird Sanctuary’s Live Eagle & Falcons Flights

NOTE: All balloon launch times are approximate, pending wind and weather conditions.  For a complete program schedule, see the festival website: