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Hot Air Balloon Festival

The Hot Air Balloon Festival

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, kiddie tractor pull, 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  - 
Food Vendors email inquiries to Tom Roahrig at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Other Vendors Inquiries to Patty Wherley at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or click here for more information.
Entertainment/Musicians inquiries to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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:

2017 Queen Application

Rules & Regulations for 2017 Queen 


Thursday – Saturday, June 8 – 10, 2017

Thursday June 8, 2017

4:00 pm      Midway Opens
6:00 pm      Queen Contest
6:30-9 pm   Tethered Balloon Rides- Fee Applies (Weather permitting)
7:00 pm      3 Balloon Launch (Weather permitting)
7:30-9 pm   Live Entertainment

Friday June 9, 2017

11 am             Midway Opens
6 pm               Opening Ceremony
6:15-7:15 pm  Live Entertainment
6:30-8 pm       Balloon Launch  (Weather permitting)
7:30-9 pm       Live Entertainment
9 pm               Balloon Night Glow (Weather permitting) Sponsored by Woodforest Bank

Saturday June 10, 2017

6:30-9 am       Balloon Launch (Weather permitting)
11 am              Midway Opens
noon-2 pm      Safety Saturday
6 pm                National Anthem
6-8 pm             Balloon Launch (Weather permitting)
6:15-7:30 pm   Live Entertainment
8-9:15 pm        Featured Entertainment
9:30 pm           Fireworks set to Music  Sponsored by COTC


Sean Askren Air Balloon PilotPilot: Sean Askren
Hometown: Middletown, OH

Balloon Name: Bohica

Trivia: Sean is the owner of Askren Air, the premier hot air balloon company in southwest Ohio.  This is Sean’s 27th year flying in Coshocton and he can’t wait to return.  Sean has logged over 2000 hours 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.  He enjoys being Jim Birk’s and Patty Cramer’s slave at those events.


Hot Air Balloon PilotPilot: Meredith Bennett
Hometown: Hilliard, OH

Balloon Name: Cheeseburger

Trivia:  Meredith has been a pilot for 10 years and involved with ballooning for over 12.  She is anxiously awaiting the arrival of her new balloon “Moonshine” and is borrowing a friend’s balloon for this weekend.  Once the new competition balloon arrives she plans to give all those boys out there a run for their money!  She thanks all of the spectators for coming year after year to see the balloons fly and loves flying at Coshocton.

Jim Birk Hot Air Balloon PilotPilot:  Jim Birk
Hometown: Defiance, OH

Balloon Name: Jimbalaya

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.

Jim Cusick - Hot Air Balloon PilotPilot: Jim Cusick
Hometown: Marysville, OH

Balloon Name: Bolt

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.

Rick Cusick - Hot Air Balloon PilotPilot:  Rick Cusick

Hometown: Lima, Ohio

Balloon Name: Arrythmia

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.





Paul Dale- Hot Air Balloon Pilot

Pilot: Paul Dale
Hometown: Louisville, OH

Balloon Name: Spitfire

Trivia:  Paul is a Tool and Die Machinist and is married with three children.  He finished 19th in the country last year in the BFA HACD rankings making him the runner-up to the Rookie of the Year.  Paul’s finished in 4th place last year at Coshocton and is looking to improve that ranking.

Hot Air Balloon Pilot - Mike EmichPilot: Mike Emich
Hometown: Akron, OH

Balloon Name: 

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.

Hot Air Balloon Pilot - Alex JonardPilot: Alex Jonard
Hometown: St. Charles, IL

Balloon Name: Cra-Zee

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 at the 1985 festival and earned his pilot's license in 1987.  He continues to return to Coshocton every June to fly its beautiful rolling hills and valleys. Alex is the Director of Inside Sales and Operations at Nelsen Steel Company in Franklin Park, IL. His wife, Monica is his crew chief and they have 2 sons, Alex T and Nick. Together with his sons, Alex has traveled to Philmont Scout Ranch in 2013 and 2015 hiking several mountains with the highest elevation being 12,585 feet.


Tim Midura - Hot Air Balloon PilotPilot: Tim Midura
Hometown: Marshallville, OH

Balloon Name: K-2

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.


Greg Miller - Hot Air Balloon PilotPilot: Greg Miller
Hometown: Grafton, OH

Balloon Name: Eclipse

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.

Hot Air Balloon Pilot - Socrates RettosPilot: Socrates Rettos
Hometown: Liberty Twp, OH

Balloon Name: Thriller

Trivia:  Soc grew up in Coshocton and got his start in ballooning in the early 80’s when he volunteered at the Coshocton event.  After his first ride, he was hooked.  Soc’s father, John Rettos, served for many years as the Coshocton Hot Air Balloon Festival chairman and is now helping Soc as crew.  Last year, Soc flew a ride balloon at the Albuquerque International Balloon Festival.


Dan Steeley- Hot Air Balloon PilotPilot: Dan Steeley
Hometown: Beavercreek, OH

Balloon Name: Maybe

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 the balloon is named after the rock song, “Maybe I will.”


Gary Tyo - Hot Air Balloon PilotPilot: Gary Tyo
Hometown: Mt. Gilead, Ohio

Balloon Name: CarMaKiDrew

TriviaA 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.

Wayne Warren - Hot Air Balloon PilotPilot: Wayne Warren
Hometown: Waterford, MI

Balloon Name: Compromise

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.

Ted Watts - Hot Air Balloon PilotPilot: Ted Watts
Hometown: Meadville, PA

Balloon Name: Legal Eagle

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:  Andrew Barnum

Hometown:  Toledo, OH

Balloon Name:  Jabberwocky

Trivia:  Andrew comes from Toledo, Ohio and has been involved in ballooning since he was a young child.  He’s been a balloon pilot for 20 years.  Andrew’s day job is flying as a commercial fixed-wing pilot.  His favorite thing about ballooning is spending time with his family and watching his young son, Oscar, fall in love with a sport he has enjoyed his entire life.


Name:  Charlie Mays Jr.   

Hometown:  Covington, Kentucky

Balloon Name: 

Trivia:  This is Charlie’s fourth 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:  John Petrehn

Hometown:  Missouri City, TX

Balloon Name:  Touchstone

Trivia:  John, a super nice guy, has over 2700 hours as pilot-in-command.  He is a 3 time BFA US National Champion and a 3 time NABA US National Champion.  John won the World Hot Air Balloon Championships twice; 2006 Japan and 2010 Hungary.  This is John’s first time flying at Coshocton and he is excited to be piloting the Touchstone Energy balloon.  We hope if he brings Sam along as crew that he remembers to pay him what he’s due.


Let us assist you with your travel plans


Coshocton Visitors Bureau & the Annin Flagmakers Showroom
432 North Whitewoman Street, Coshocton, OH  43812
(Located in Historic Roscoe Village)



Office /Welcome Center Hours

11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  Daily

Closed on Sundays until May 

Coshocton Visitors Bureau Mission Statement
The mission of the Coshocton Visitors Bureau is to increase overnight stays in one of our lodging facilities through the promotion of tourism experiences, overnight packages, and attractions to encourage tourists to visit, explore, and plan return visits to Coshocton County.

The Coshocton County Visitor Bureau is a proud supporter of the following organizations:

 Ohio Heartland Wine and Cheese Trail Ohio Travel Association Coshocton Chamber of Commerce Coshocton is Blooming Coshocton Port Authority Johnson Humrickhouse MuseumCoshocton Airport Amphiteater Ohio Association of Convention and Visitor Bureaus Coshocton Friends of the Park Clary Gardens Adventures in Northeast Ohio Ohio Has It Pomerene Center of the Arts Ohio Appalachian Country Coshocton Footlight Players Roscoe Village Association   

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432 North Whitewoman Street, Coshocton, Ohio 43812 | 740.622.4877 or 1.800.338.4724