Poteau OK: On Tuesday, July 14th the Poteau Chamber Board of Directors voted to postpone Poteau Balloon Fest 2020. Poteau Chamber host several events through out the year.
The Balloon Fest is the largest and requires support from the City, Businesses, Partners and The Community. “It takes a village for an event of this magnitude. The chamber does not want to put a financial burden on its finances or the members at this time. The second reason is over 60% of the visitors come from out town and with the fall weather approaching we cannot predict what the Covid-19 situation could be. This decision did not come lightly with me as you know we do not like to cancel but utterly understand the need to do so. The Board and Staff have continued to keep the area moving with a positive outlook helping to work on things to generate traffic so the businesses can thrive. Poteau Chamber is right in line with all other Balloon Festivals in Oklahoma and even the “world’s largest” in Albuquerque postponing for 2020. We will begin reorganizing and bring new events and attractions for next year, states Karen Wages CEO and Balloon Fest Organizer.”
The longest running balloon fest in the state began in 2005 and continued to grow winning awards and recognitions. It is one of Oklahoma’s fastest growing and most breathtaking events. In 2013 over 30,000 were recorded in two days. The number of visitors each year also helps contribute to Poteau’s economy and money spent to produce the event is with local business providing an incredibly positive event with a huge number of area sponsors and over 400 volunteers. Schools and Organizations benefit from money donated from the festival each year helping as a chase crew, parking cars and trash pickup. In 2013 the Poteau Balloon Fest received the Governor’s Red Bud Award for Outstanding Event of the year.
In 2014 it was named #3 in the Top 40 Things to do in Oklahoma by Okiecentric Magazine. TravelOK dubbed the Poteau Balloon Fest an “adrenaline rush.” In 2018 it was selected as one of the best fall festivals in Oklahoma by Best of American Towns Media. “The festival’s signature Balloons are only one of the attractions; from Mud Races, Carnival Rides, Monster Truck Rides, Animals, Circus Acts, Wrestling, Vendors and more have made the event a huge success these past years. You can be assured the Balloon Fest Committee will not stop working on continuing to bring back the festival with so much more. Those attending the 2021 Festival will definitely “Escape the Ordinary” with new energy, attractions, and those amazing colors of Balloons with the pilots presenting a great glow each night. Thank you to all that have helped make this event a huge successful attraction for our area the past 14 years. “We look forward to continuing, states Karen Wages, Chamber CEO.”