The Kalamazoo Balloon Fest, presented by Zeigler Auto Group, to celebrate a decade of family fun this weekend August 26 - 28


The Kalamazoo Balloon Fest, presented by Zeigler Auto Group,

to celebrate a decade of family fun this weekend August 26 - 28


The 10th Annual Kalamazoo Balloon Fest, presented by Zeigler Auto Group, will take place this coming weekend from Friday, August 26th to Sunday, August 28th at Gull Meadow Farms. The event will feature 30 balloons, four hot air balloon flights, two balloon glows, a classic car show and a special appearance by Josh Bilicki on Saturday with a Zeigler.com 77 Camaro replica wrapped with the special MSU scheme.


KALAMAZOO, MICH (August 21, 2022) - The 10th Annual Kalamazoo Balloon Fest presented by Zeigler Auto Group will take place next weekend starting Friday, August 26 with a Sunrise and Media Balloon Flight at 7:02a.m. See full event schedule below. Among the event highlights is a car show, hosted by the Mayor's Classic Car Club that will be dedicated to Tom Smith. During the car show, Spire Motorsports NASCAR Driver Josh Bilicki will be on hand for photo ops and autographs with a replica Zeigler.com 77 Camaro wrapped with the special MSU scheme used at Michigan Interntional Speedway.


The event will also include a total of 30 balloons, four hot air balloon flights, and two night time balloon glows - with one happening Friday and the other one Saturday. During Saturday's celebrations, the Kalamazoo Balloon Fest will also be hosting a special Zeigler Family day with Zeigler team members invited to join in on the family festivities from 4:00p.m. to 7:00p.m.


 "Since 2013 our dedicated team of volunteers has , are pleased to host and share with you all our 10th year celebration! We have a fun-filled family weekend planned both Friday and Saturday, August 26 & 27 for all to enjoy. We have 4 Balloon Flights, 2 evening Balloon Glows, food trucks, event souvenirs, a car show and much more! Look forward to seeing you all there!" Derrick Jones, world-renowned balloon pilot and GM of Zeigler Maserati Alfa Romeo of Grandville. Guests are encouraged to use the hashtag #kalamazooballoonfest when posting to social media for a chance to be featured on the Kalamazoo Balloon Fest's official channels.




Friday, August 26

7:02 AM Sunrise and Media Balloon Flight
Select Hot Air Balloons will take off from Gull Meadow Farms
4:00 - 9:00 PM

Entertainment, Food & Craft Vendors - Gull Meadow Farms

Bring your chairs, blankets, family & friends and enjoy an evening of Family Fun with our MC Mr. Jim Engel

6:00 PM

Pilot General Briefing: All Pilots, Crew, Sponsors & Staff

8:24 PMSunset
8:30 - 9:00 PM  Balloon Glow 1, Balloon Field - Gull Meadow Farms



 





Saturday, August 27

7:03 AM Sunrise
7:03 AM - 9:00 AM  Balloon Flight 2 Fly-In, Balloons will fly into Gull Meadow Farms
10:00 AM - 9:00 PM Entertainment & Vendors - Gull Meadow Farms
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM  Car Show, ALL our welcome! Gull Meadow Farms, Balloon Field
4:30 PM - 5:30 PM 

 




Pilot & Crew Meet & Greet, Balloon Field, Gull Meadow Farms!

Come and meet the Pilots & Crews and collect the Balloon Pilot

Trading cards and pilot signatures Bring your chairs, blankets, family & friends and enjoy an evening of Family Fun with our MC Mr. Jim Engel

6:30 - 8:22 PM

Balloon Flight 3 - Mass Launch, Balloon Field, Gull Meadow Farms
8:22 PM  Sunset
8:30 - 9:00 PM  Balloon Glow 2, Balloon Field - Gull Meadow Farms




 
 
Sunday, August 28
7:04 AM
Sunrise
 7:04 AM - 9:00AM Flight 4, Balloons will fly into Gull Meadow Farms



"As founder & director of the Kalamazoo Balloon Fest, which together with a team of dedicated volunteers since 2013 we are pleased to host and share with you all our 10th year celebration! We have a fun-filled family weekend planned both Friday and Saturday August 26 & 27 for all to enjoy. We have 4 Balloon Flights, 2 evening Balloon Glows, food Trucks, event souvenirs, a car show and much more! Look forward to seeing you all there!"

Derrick Jones, world-renowned balloon pilot and GM of Zeigler Maserati Alfa Romeo of Grandville.


Derrick has been a member of the Balloon Federation of America since 1995, having received the BFA Regional Award, the Spirit of Ballooning Award, and the coveted President's Award. As distinguished ambassador to ballooning for the organization, he also hosted the US National Balloon Championships from 2008 to 2011.

 

He is also part of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale since 2011, having been one of only three since 1972 to host the World Hot Air Balloon Championship in the United States, choosing Battle Creek in 2012. This was after participating in the 9-day Pre-World Event in Switzerland in 2010, where he and team outbid Germany and France for the rights to host the 20th World Hot Air Balloon Championship, representing 28 countries, 135 balloons and pilots.

 

The accomplished balloon pilot also flew the Chevrolet balloon for almost eight years, starting when he was just 24 years old. However, his biggest dream as a kid was flying the Kellogg's Tony the Tiger balloon, something he actually accomplished and went on to do for nearly four years from 2008 to 2012. Although, he recalls the many naysayers at ever point of his career telling him he was dreaming too big, doing too much, and that he was simply too young, he says the secret to get through it all was simply not to quit, to be persistent, and to have patience.

 

As for how he got started, Derrick started crewing at just nine years old, took his first flight at 12, and received his student pilot certificate at 14 -becoming one of the youngest pilots in the Great Lakes Area at the time. Later he received his private pilot license at 16 and his commercial one at just 21.

 

ABOUT ZEIGLER AUTO GROUP

Zeigler Automotive Group is one of the largest privately-owned dealer groups in the U.S. with 78 franchises across 35 locations in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan. Vehicle brands represented include all of the domestic and the majority of the imported manufacturers.

 

Besides its extensive automotive portfolio, the organization owns and operates Zeigler Motorsports, an 85,000-square-foot motorsports dealership and action park, offering 19 different powersports brands, plus its own onsite restaurant: Trak Houz Bar & Grill. Additionally, Zeigler Motorsports houses the Elevate Leadership & Team Building Academy, an executive training company.

 

The Kalamazoo-based dealer group also owns and operates Zeigler Pre-Owned of Chicago, a Carquest Auto Parts store, three Byrider franchises, three finance companies, several insurance firms, and a leasing firm.

 

Founded in 1975, the organization employs over 2,300 people, ranking among the top 1% of automotive dealers in the nation with estimated annual sales of $2.2 billion for 2022. The family-owned and operated company is well known for its commitment to both customer service and employee satisfaction. Zeigler is regularly recognized as one of the Best and Brightest Companies to Work for in the Nation, also earning similar accolades in Wisconsin, Chicago, and Michigan.