Macomb Balloon Rally

Rachel Greene, Editor-in-chief

MACOMB, Ill. – In an effort to respect the restrictions of COVID-19 and unite the community through a popular, annual event, the Macomb Balloon Rally planning committee announces it will host a “drive-through” version of the popular hot air balloon glow at dusk on Sept. 12. 

This is the 33rd year for the Macomb Balloon Rally and COVID-19 has forced the cancellation of the flight portion of the event. 

As part of the “drive-through” flow, nine hot air balloons will be set up in one row along the front of Western Illinois University’s Vince Grady Field, along University Drive. Balloons will begin inflating at about 7 p.m. and will stay inflated and glowing off-and-on for approximately one-hour. 

Visitors will be welcome to drive up and down both sides of University Drive to view the balloons. During the drive-through event, volunteers will be in place at stop signs to collect donations. The money collected will be divided between the WIU Food Pantry and the McDonough County Humane Society. 

Masks will be worn by participants in the glow, and the pilots and crew members on the field will be kept under the 50-person limit. No visitors will be allowed on Vince Grady Field. 

The event would be canceled in case of rain, or extremely high winds. 

For more information about this year’s event, visit 

Courtesy of University Relations