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Hot Air Balloon Fest to light up the Mississippi skies

The skies will come alive this weekend in Canton, and you’re invited to all of the festivities in this extraordinary celebration.

The traditional Mississippi Championship Hot Air Balloon Fest is in its 36th edition and promises to be more spectacular than ever before. There will music, entertainment, fun, a fireworks extravaganza, and of course, colorful hot air balloons of all different shapes and sizes filling the sky.

The festivities kick off on the Historic Canton Square on Thursday, July 1 with a launch party featuring Doctor Zarr’s Amazing Funk Monster Band. Also performing will be Jodie Ross, the 2021 People’s Choice Award Winner for the Mississippi Songwriter of the Year. There will be lots of food and drink vendors, plus our local shops will be open late for all of our guests!

On Friday, July 2, the Competition Flight will begin at 6 a.m. at the Canton Multipurpose Center. It’s a gorgeous sight to see the colorful balloons fly through the sky and pass by the Historic Canton City Hall.

The celebration then carries over to Northpark Mall in Ridgeland as Dialogue on the Hill, a Chicago tribute band, will hit the stage at 5:00 p.m. At 6:30, the Blues Boy will perform prior to the Victory Belles taking over the stage as the magnificent Balloon Glow transforms the skies. The dark southern sky will light up with the glow of gorgeous, colorful hot air balloons in a breathtaking sight. The night will be wrapped up with fireworks at 9:15.

Wake up Saturday morning and get some exercise with the Balloon Chase Bike Ride, sponsored by both the Good Samaritan Center and the Canton Tourism Association. If you’re not an early riser, or just not a biker, the Balloon Chase Walk/Run and Kids One Mile Race will take place at 6:30 p.m. After that, the Golf Ball Drop is scheduled for 8:30. Tickets can be purchased right here. If the odds are so ever in your favor, you may get the lucky golf ball and the $5,000 cash prize that comes along with it.

Come out all weekend, or just for part, and enjoy the 2021 Mississippi Championship Hot Air Balloon Fest. The full schedule can be found below:



Written by Judy Smith

Judy Smith has been a freelance writer and photographer for several magazines and publications around the South, including Social South Magazine, Our Mississippi Magazine, DeSoto Magazine, Deep South Magazine, Country Roads Magazine, among others. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Paralegal Studies, Master’s of Science in Mass Communications, and PhD in Communications at the University of Southern Mississippi. And Judy Smith is proud to forever be a Mississippi Girl.


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