Open Avenues SOAR NWA Hot Air Balloon Event Coming to Northwest Arkansas Featuring Governor Asa Hutchinson

Posted by: JustinFreeman on Friday, July 26, 2019

Open Avenues will host its inaugural SOAR NWA event on Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019 at Drake Field in Fayetteville. This day-long event will include various hot air balloon activities (weather permitting), a variety of aeronautics events, circus performers, a kids zone, live entertainment, a beer garden, food trucks, vendor booths and more. 

General admission is $10 for adults and $5 for kids 10 and under. A family package is also available for $40 that includes admission for two adults and four kids 18 and under. Aeronautics rides and activities will be available for purchase. Admission tickets, sponsorship packages, vendor applications and volunteer requests are available now at

Gates will open for ticketed guests at 7 a.m. as the event kicks off with hot air balloon rides for high-level sponsors at sunrise (weather permitting). The event will conclude at 10 p.m. following a planned Balloon Glow and performance by Randall Shreve & The Devilles. The complete day of event schedule is available at

“We are so excited to bring this exciting and unique event to our Northwest Arkansas region,” said Kelly Sampson, Development Director at Open Avenues. “It’s going to be an amazing day of so many different activities that there will truly be something for everyone. As an added bonus, all proceeds support an amazing mission of providing employment for people with disabilities.” 

Governor Asa Hutchinson is serving as the event’s honorary chair, and is scheduled to welcome attendees at 6:30 p.m. Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan will be in attendance to kick off the Balloon Glow scheduled for 8 p.m., and Sue and Charles Redfield, EVP of Food, Walmart, U.S., are serving as event hosts and will kick off a 6 p.m. skydiving performance. 

Event proceeds support Open Avenues in its mission of providing employment opportunities for people with disabilities. The nonprofit provides life and job skills training, on-site employment, job placement and coaching services, as well as transportation. Through the dignity of work, program participants gain a sense of belonging and purpose as they develop their skills and earn a paycheck.


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