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What’s new at balloonfest? More aviation, attractions and it’s a Michigan thing

Balloonfest cover 2014 redoneMichigan Challenge XXX continues to maintain its tradition as one of the best outdoor festivals in the area. The event is June 27-29 at the Howell High School complex.

The Yankee Air Museum (YAM) brings a C-47, Yankee Doodle Dandy, to the event with flyovers during the weekend. In partnership with the YAM, a special ceremony for Veterans will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday morning. The Veterans Ceremony is sponsored by Comerica.

A short drive west of the balloonfest site, the Livingston County Spencer J. Hardy Airport will host an open house and fly-in from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Display aircraft will be presented by Experimental Aircraft Association, Cessna Aircraft, Cirrus Aircraft and Diamond Aircraft representatives. College degree programs from Northwestern Michigan College Aviation Division and Western Michigan University College of Aviation will each have a booth. University of Michigan Survival Flight aircraft will be on display as well as many vintage warbird aircraft.

In addition to the aviation activities, AcroYoga Ann Arbor performs. See this graceful and athletic emerging sport at 4 p.m. on Saturday. Another A-plus attraction is the Saturday night main stage performance by Toppermost, a Beatles tribute band. All weekend long, the Meijer Mobile Unit rolls into balloonfest with samples, entertainment, games and giveaways.

Michigan Marketplace launches

If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you; but if you seek Michigan-made products, look about the Michigan Challenge.

The Michigan Marketplace is sponsored by Heart of Michigan. It complements the juried arts festival that has been part of the event for many years and offers guests a chance to see and buy some of the best products in the state. Vendors who want to participate in the Michigan Marketplace can download an application at michiganchallenge.com.

Thousands of guests visit and hundreds of volunteers help at ballonfest

Businesses can market their message to balloonfest guests through advertising and sponsorships. Volunteers, including parking gate captains, are also needed to help with the event. For more information, contact Michigan Challenge Director Michelle Tokan at mtokan@howell.org.

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