WAPAKONETA – Eleven balloons will launch in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon mission at the Apollo 11 Balloon Rally Friday and Saturday at Auglazie County Fairgrounds in Wapakoneta.
As a balloon rally sponsor, Midwest Electric ran a contest through its Facebook page and awarded a free ride in its Touchstone Energy hot air balloon to Midwest Electric member Paul Gehm of Coldwater.
Balloon launches will be at 6:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday with an evening glow at 8:45 p.m. both nights. A morning launch will take place at 7 a.m. Saturday.
Visitors can bring their cameras for up close and personal shots as the balloons light up the sky. Tethered balloon rides also will be available for $10.
The full festival runs July 12 through July 21. These jam-packed 10 days of celebration include a downtown parade, 60s Day at Wapakoneta Water Park, Aeronca flights at Neil Armstrong Airport, the Miss Summer Moon Pageant, a vintage car and antique tractor show, a fishing derby, Run to the Moon 5K, river boating, street markets, wiener dog racing and much more.
Kids activities include bounce houses and carnival games plus concessions, giveaways and live music with multiple bands playing. “Star Wars” characters, NASA presentations and rocket launches will be visible at the Armstrong Air and Space Museum as well.
There is no charge for entry or parking. Proceeds will be donated to local flood and tornado victims.
For additional details and a schedule of events, visit www.summermoonfestival.com or www.firstonthemoon.org. Individuals also can call 419-738-2911 with questions.