The Coshocton Ohio Hot Air Balloon Festival ~ June 8, 9, & 10, 2017
For 36 years, hot air balloons have been floating over the hills and valleys of Coshocton, OH. The Coshocton Hot Air Balloon Festival is one of the longest running balloon festivals in Ohio. Musical entertainment, carnival rides, craft booths, fireworks, food vendors,night glow, antique flea market, hot air balloon launches (weather permitting), and other family-oriented activities are all part of this free event.
No Parking Fees
Location: Coshocton County Fairgrounds, 707 Kenilworth Ave. Coshocton, OH
Interested Vendors -
Or mail vendor inquiries to Coshocton Hot Air Balloon Festival Committee, P.O. Box 1062, Coshocton, OH 43812
Download the rules & application for the Queen here:
SCHEDULE SET FOR 2017 HOT AIR BALLOON FESTIVAL
Thursday – Saturday, June 8 – 10, 2017
Thursday June 8, 2017
4:00 pm Midway Opens
6:00 pm Crowning of the 2017 Queen
6:30-8:30 pm Tethered Balloon Rides- Fee Applies (Weather permitting)
7:00 pm 3 Balloon Launch (Weather permitting)
7:30-9 pm Bud Grabbe & The Roadrunners
Friday June 9, 2017
11 am Midway Opens
6 pm Opening Ceremony
6:15 pm Introduction of the Queen and Visiting Queens
6:30 pm Balloon Launch (Weather permitting)
8 pm Blend (1950s Acapella) Sponsored by Todd Salmans, DDS
9:15 pm Balloon Night Glow (Weather permitting) Sponsored by Woodforest National Bank
Saturday June 10, 2017
6:30 am Balloon Launch
6:30-8:30 am Tethered Balloon Rides- Fee Applies (Weather permitting)
11 am Midway/Vendors Open
11 am-4 pm Carnival Ride Wristband Special - $12
2-5 pm COSI on Wheels Sponsored by Coshocton Kiwanis
2-5 pm Safety Saturday Sponsored by Ohio AAA Auto Club
Strolling Jeff Leonard, Magician Sponsored by Coshocton Kiwanis
6 pm National Anthem
6:15 pm Balloon Launch (Weather permitting)
7:30-9:15 pm Rorey Wesney Band Sponsored in part by Michael Taylor Allstate Agency
9:30 pm Fireworks Set to Music Sponsored by Central Ohio Technical College
Pilot: Sean Askren
Hometown: Middletown, OH
Balloon Name: Bohica
Sponsor: Doug Marmie, State Farm Insurance
Trivia: Sean is the owner of Askren Air, the premier hot air balloon company in southwest Ohio. Sean loves to fly over the hills and valleys of Coshocton. He has logged over 2000 hour in a hot air balloon and serves as the safety officer at the Field of Flight in Battle Creek, MI and the Great Texas Balloon Race. Sean loves being Jim Birk's and Patty Cramer's gopher at those events.
Pilot: Meredith Bennett
Hometown: Hilliard, OH
Balloon Name: Moonshine
Sponsor: Olde Town Realty
Trivia: Meredith has been a pilot for 11 years and involved with ballooning for over 13. Meredith was excited to debut her balloon "Moonshine: last year at the Coshocton Hot Air Balloon Festival. The only problem was she had no idea what how it looked until she saw pictures of the launch! She thanks all of the spectators for coming year after year to see the balloons fly and loves flying at Coshocton.
Pilot: Jim Birk
Hometown: Defiance, OH
Balloon Name: Jimbalaya
Sponsor: Coshocton Village Inn & Suites
Trivia: Jim was the Event Director for the World Championships in 1995 and for numerous US National Championships. He is excited to get to be on the “other side” at Coshocton and plans to show the younger crowd how to use a paper map and to find the turn using nothing but spit. Jim is a retired corporate balloon pilot having flown Pepe and the Kroger’s balloon for many years. He is accompanied by his faithful crew chief and ace crime reporter, Trace.
Pilot: Jim Cusick
Hometown: Marysville, OH
Balloon Name: Bolt
Sponsor: Central Ohio Technical College
Trivia: Jim has been a pilot since 2004 after years of crewing and learning about ballooning from his father, Rick. Bolt is Jim’s third balloon and the unique design was created when he was 11 years old. Jim is married to his crew chief, Laura, and enjoys sharing ballooning with their sons, Ben and Payton. The family is planning a camping trip this fall to Albuquerque to see the World’s Premier Ballooning event.
Pilot: Rick Cusick
Hometown: Lima, Ohio
Balloon Name: Arrythmia
Sponsor: Alan Donaker Surveying
Trivia: Rick has been flying in Coshocton since 1987 and really enjoys the people and the flying area. Retired from Proctor and Gamble, Rick stays busy with part time jobs and finishing up his “to do” lists. His wife, Pat, has been his longtime crew chief and is proud that she has never once lost him. The Cusick flying traditions continue with their kids and grandkids all involved.
Pilot: Paul Dale
Hometown: Alliance, OH
Balloon Name: Spitfire
Sponsor: Scott Boyer, Nationwide Insurance
Trivia: Paul is a Tool and Die Machinist and is married with three children. He finished 2nd in the country last year in the BFA HACD rankings. Paul's goal for 2017 is to place first at Coshocton. In his spare time, Paul loves to bake and plans to bring one of his famous coconut cream pies to the scoring officials.
Pilot: Mike Emich
Hometown: Akron, OH
Balloon Name: Updraft
Sponsor: AK Steel
Trivia: Mike is a retired firefighter from Akron, Ohio and his first flight was in 1971. He holds 3 US National and 2 World Records for Distance in a hot air balloon. Mike designed and built 14 hot air balloons including the one he will be flying this year. He has developed some great friendships in Coshocton with his local crew. His wife, Rozanne, is his fabulous crew chief and never forgets the “red cups”. Mike and Rozanne are enjoying the retirement club.
Pilot: Alex Jonard
Hometown: St. Charles, IL
Balloon Name: Zee-nith
Sponsor: Frontier Propane
Trivia: Alex was born and raised in Coshocton County and still has family in the area. He got his start in ballooning as an observer along with his dad in 1985 and earned his pilot's license in 1987. He returns to Coshocton every June to fly its beautiful rolling hills and valleys. His wife, Monica is his crew chief and they have 2 sons, Alex T and Nick. Alex’s balloon, Zee-nith, is a tribute to his mentor and the founder of the Coshocton Hot Balloon Festival, Professor Z – Bob Zanella.
Pilot: Tim Midura
Hometown: Marshallville, OH
Balloon Name: K-2
Sponsor: Ashland Balloon Festival
Trivia: Tim has been a pilot since 1981 and flew the first balloon in Costa Rica. He is a physician’s assistant. Tim’s wife, Missy, is also a balloon pilot though she will be driving the truck this weekend.
Pilot: Greg Miller
Hometown: Grafton, OH
Balloon Name: Eclipse
Sponsor: Jones Metal
Trivia: Greg works for the Lubrizol Corporation as a Database Administrator and is a Fireman/Paramedic for his township. He and his wife, Sherry, have three boys. Greg has won the Balloon Federation of America Long Jump competition twice. One of his favorites flights was in Coshocton when he got to see a Bald Eagle flying around the river.
Pilot: Dave Conrad
Hometown: Cincinnati, OH
Balloon Name: Thriller
Sponsor: AK Steel
Trivia: Dave is excited to return to the Coshocton Hot Air Balloon Festival this year. He is flying “Thriller” in memory of Socrates Rettos who passed away earlier this year. Dave’s aviation experience is wide and varied – he is certified to fly airplanes, balloons, gliders, and helicopters! Dave flew worldwide for a large soap company in Cincinnati retiring as a Senior Captain after 30 years of service in 2014 and has recently come out of retirement to fly for PSA Airlines.
Pilot: Dan Steeley
Hometown: Beavercreek, OH
Balloon Name: Maybe Not
Sponsor: Shane Pyle, Raymond James Financial
Trivia: Dan and his wife Cindy have been involved in ballooning since 2001. Dan has been flying since 2007 and is employed as the IT Director at LIB Inc., a Dayton-based engineering firm where he has worked for 35 years. This is Dan’s second time flying in Coshocton. MAYBE NOT is Dan's newest balloon, the previous one was named Maybe after the rock song, “Maybe I will.”
Pilot: Gary Tyo
Hometown: Mt. Gilead, Ohio
Balloon Name: CarMaKiDrew
Sponsor: Todd Salmans, DDS
Trivia: A Native of North Central Ohio, Gary is a ballooning veteran of 30+ years. His interest in ballooning came after attending a Festival in 1972, while helping a pilot launch a balloon. He thought it was a unique and fascinating experience and that he would like to try it some time. Gary is a retired locomotive engineer from New Jersey Transit and now owns and operates Mid-Ohio Balloon Adventures, LLC, a balloon ride business based in Mount Gilead, OH. The most enjoyable aspect of ballooning for Gary is the excitement it brings to others. He and his wife, Kim, look forward to participating in the Coshocton Balloon Festival each year.
Pilot: Wayne Warren
Hometown: Waterford, MI
Balloon Name: Red Headed Step Child
Sponsor: Walmart Super Center
Trivia: Wayne started flying in 1973 and has flown at every balloon event at Coshocton except the first. His nick-name, The Mad Bomber, is a perfect description of Wayne dropping in on a target. Wayne built the balloon that he will be flying this year. He is joined by his crew chief, Linda, and his loyal crew, John and Sherry.
Pilot: Ted Watts
Hometown: Meadville, PA
Balloon Name: Legal Eagle
Sponsor: McWane Ductile
Trivia: Ted began flying a hot air balloon in 1995. He was trained by the late intrepid Bob ʺ Professor Zʺ Zanella, the founder of the Coshocton Hot Air Balloon Festival. Ted has been coming to Coshocton since 1998. Coshocton is one of his favorite events because of the flying area and the welcoming community. He practices law and that is the reason for the name of the balloon, Legal Eagle.
Name: Charlie Mays Jr.
Hometown: Covington, Kentucky
Sponsor: Roscoe Motor Inn
Trivia: This is Charlie’s fifth time flying in Coshocton and he loves the challenge of the hills and the valleys. Charlie has a balloon ride business in northern Kentucky and comes from a ballooning family.
Name: Bob Scobee
Hometown: Marysville, OH
Balloon Name: Touchstone
Sponsor: Frontier Power, Your Touchstone Energy Cooperative
Trivia: Bob and his son, Scott are excited to represent Frontier Power, a Touchstone Energy Cooperative. Bob runs a certified balloon repair station and operates a balloon ride business, Fly Ohio Ballooning, in Marysville, OH. He can usually be seen on Buckeye game days flying over the stadium in one of the commercial balloons he operates.