The FireLake Fireflight Balloon Fest has returned to Shawnee, set to be the largest balloon festival in the state, bringing live performers, family-friendly activities, giant kites, a display of 30 hot air balloons and more. Admission to the event is free and it is open to the public.

The FireLake Fireflight Balloon Fest has returned to Shawnee, set to be the largest balloon festival in the state, bringing live performers, family-friendly activities, giant kites, a display of 30 hot air balloons and more. Admission to the event is free and it is open to the public.

The two-day festival kicked off Friday at the Citizen Potawatomi Nation Powwow Grounds. The weekend features balloon glows, balloon rides, food trucks, retail vendors, amusement rides, a 5k, an outdoor hunting and fishing expo and balloon flight competitions.

Festivalgoers can expect to see balloons floating through the Shawnee sky throughout the weekend and enjoy balloon glows Saturday evening (Aug. 11).

Saturday’s events start with one of many kite performances, performed by the Austin End of the Line Kite Team, at 6:45 a.m. followed by fun flights, balloon competitions and commercial rides. The festival includes a kids’ zone and petting zoo, a carnival that’s open until midnight and tethered rides that begin at 6 p.m. Festivalgoers can continue to enjoy the live music and food trucks all day long, including performances from Amanda Coffee, the White Lighters and Vince Van, followed by Zodiac to close the night.

The FireLake Fireflight Balloon Fest 5K race will also take place starting at 7 a.m. It starts at the Citizen Potawatomi Nation Cultural Heritage Center and FireLake Golf Course at 1899 S. Gordon Cooper Dr. in Shawnee. It will be conducted in an out-and-back format and will not be timed, but all finishers will receive a commemorative finisher’s medal. Runners of all ages are welcome and can register online for the race at FirelakeBalloonFest.com for $25.

A limited number of commercial balloon flights are available for $250.

Outdoor Nation Expo will take place at FireLake Arena throughout the weekend. The expo includes a turkey calling competition, a free youth archery tournament, hunting and fishing seminars and demonstrations, a youth fishing tournament a vendor market and more.

Commercial flights begin at 7 a.m. Sunday — and at 10 a.m. the Outdoor Nation Expo opens until 4 p.m.

The event is at 1702 S. Gordon Cooper Dr.

For event schedules, vendor information, directions and more, visit FirelakeBalloonFest.com.