There’s also no cost or entry fee to get into the park or to watch the bands perform. The only time you may need to open your wallet is to spend money at the various vendors or to snag a $20 wristband for unlimited rides at the carnival on Sunday.
According to the National Weather Service in Des Moines, there are small chances for rain and thunderstorms throughout the balloon races.
Today shows a 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, though it’s expected to reach 86 degrees. Friday has a 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms with a high near 88 degrees, though wind gusts could reach 18 mph. Saturday has a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms and will be cooler, around 72 degrees. The last day of the balloon races, Sunday, is predicted to be mostly sunny, with a high near 88 degrees.
Dommer said the event’s Facebook page will be updated right from the field as decisions are made. Search for Ottumwa Pro Balloon Races on Facebook and “like” the page in order to receive updates throughout the event.
“We’ll also be making on-field announcements and calling the radio stations,” he said. “But even during a thunderstorm the band will play on, the beer garden will be open under the shelter house. We’ll never fully cancel an entire night.”
When the event is put together, there are weather-contingent events, such as the balloon flights and fireworks, but Dommer said they also plan events that can continue despite the weather, including the kiddie tractor pull, chili cook-off, wine tasting and concerts.
“We’ll have those kind of events rain or shine,” he said. “For us, yeah, it’s a balloon race event and the big bonus for everyone is when the balloons get to fly, but we don’t just hang our hat on that. Stuff will still go on, even if it’s raining.”