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This year's event in Cook Park features balloons honoring POW/MIA soldiers and people with disabilities.

COURTESY PHOTO: TIGARD FESTIVAL OF BALLOONS - Freedom Flight, a nonprofit educational organization that calls attention to America's still missing POW/MIA issues through the present of their unique hot-air balloon, will be one of this year's featured balloons.
Two first-time features have been added to this year's Tigard Festival of Balloons set for Friday, June 24, through Sunday, June 26, at Cook Park.

One is an organization that shares the excitement of hot-air ballooning; the other is a group that seeks to honor prisoners of war and soldiers still missing in action.

Each morning of the event, Reach for the Stars will offer free tethered rides to attendees on a first-come, first-served basis. Priority boarding will be given to those with mobility issues, allowing them balloon access through custom-made, easy-entry access.

Reach for the Stars will tether its balloon at the main field each morning following the balloon launches.

Also featured this year will be the participation of Freedom Flight, a nonprofit educational organization that calls attention to America's still-missing POW/MIA issues through the present of their unique hot-air balloon.

Both organization's balloons will participate in the festival's Night Glow events, set for both Friday and Saturday. All balloon rides are dependent on the weather and individual pilot decisions.

After a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tigard Festival of Balloons is expected to draw as many as 15,000 people to Cook Park.

The 2019 event raised more than $50,000 for local charitable organizations.

In addition to the colorful hot air balloons, the event features bands, food and craft vendors, a beer garden, a kids' zone and the Tigard Festival of Cars.

Tickets are $12 for a three-day pass, which provides unlimited access. There are no one-day tickets available. Children age 6 and younger receive free admission.

Visit tigardballoon.org for more information.


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