Balloons prepare to take flight during the 2022 Great Falls Balloon Festival at Simard-Payne Memorial Park in Lewiston. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal file

LEWISTON — The 29th Great Falls Balloon Festival will present Boo-loon Bash, a Halloween-themed event from Friday to Sunday.

The theme was chosen by the festival board from a host of social media suggestions by community members and festival frequenters.

Smiley the Scarecrow will join 15 other balloons for the Great Falls Balloon Festival from Friday to Sunday. Great Falls Balloon Festival Photo

The festival’s main attraction will bring Smiley the Scarecrow and Lil D, hot air balloons from Indy Hot Air of Indianapolis, Indiana. The two balloons will lead 14 others from across the country, including two local pilots from Lewiston and Dixfield and a radio-controlled balloon from Turner.

Festival President Tracy Collins said entertainment will feature new nonprofit food booths, a diverse group of craft and trade vendors and many new live performers on stage at Simard-Payne Memorial Park at 46 Beech St. in Lewiston.

Auburn will feature a For the Love of Animals event with guests from Greater Androscoggin Humane Society, Kommunity Kritters and Mission Working Dogs, and a petting zoo area will be onsite.

“Also, we are having a blood drive from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in honor of the Lil D balloon and it will be at the Auburn Senior Community Center,” Collins said. “We need about 30 more donors!”


Balloons launches will occur at around 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday — weather permitting. Food vendors open at 4 p.m. Friday and the Moon Glow event will happen at dusk.

Saturday will open with a 5:30 a.m. pancake breakfast about 30 minutes before balloons launch. The For the Love of Animals event will begin at 10 a.m., and the parade will start and food vendors will open at 11 a.m. The parade will go down Main Street in Auburn from the Elm Street intersection across Longley Bridge into Lewiston, down Lincoln Street and up Chestnut Street ending at the Mill Street intersection.

Lil D will join a fleet of 15 others at the Great Falls Balloon Festival from Friday to Sunday in Lewiston. Great Falls Balloon Festival Photo

The Sunday Family Fun Day will be loaded with events starting off with another pancake breakfast at 5 a.m. The first 100 children to show at the Simard-Payne Memorial Park will receive a special Great Falls Balloon Festival fun bag.

Starting at 9 a.m., families will be able to enjoy Party Palooza face painting, hay rides and other activities while Home of the Brave RC Balloon and Cugno Boxing give demonstrations. Nonprofit tables and the Franco-American Collection will be onsite at the same time.

Camp of Rock and the Phoenix No Limits Demonstration Team will run from 9:30 a.m. to around 10:30 a.m. when a cheering demonstration will take over the fun. Also at 9:30 a.m. will be a Fun Run, Toddler Trot and Diaper Derby. A family scavenger hunt will take place at 11 a.m. and a family costume judging at noon followed by trick-or-treating.

Live performances Friday will run 4:30 to 10 p.m. and will feature Robert Washington, Breaking Strings, and Toby McCallister and the Sierra Sounds; Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Taylor Hughes, Stone Broke, Morganite, Moticon, 3Z Top, Jumpin’ Willys and Christie Ray; Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Snarky Sisterz, The Lit Council Band, Bees Deluxe, Bazinga and Raw.

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