Large crowd turns out for Balloon-a-Fair

Jasen Sokol

KentWired Video

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A near-record crowd descended on Ravenna this weekend for the 34th Annual Ravenna Balloon-a-Fair.

Over 20 hot air balloons took off from Sunbeau Valley Farm Saturday and Sunday. Balloon-a-Fair committee president Jack Ferguson estimated the attendance at about 5,000 people over both days.

A street fair and parade also took place Saturday in downtown Ravenna. The fair is a celebration of Ravenna’s history as a manufacturer of toy balloons.

Ravenna mayor Joe Bica said the fair places a financial burden on the city for security and cleanup, but the burden is worthwhile.

“It’s bringing a lot of people downtown,” Bica said. “It gives a lot of exposure to the downtown businesses and the other vendors that are here that are all local businesses.”

The Balloon-a-Fair also featured a children’s parade Thursday.

Jasen Sokol is the anchor of Portage Pulse, TV2’s new public affairs show airing Sundays at 11:30 AM. Contact him at [email protected].