Hot air balloons will take over the skies of Ceres in June. Probably.
The Skies the Limit Hot Air Balloon Festival is a first-ever event for the city, set for June 17. If the weather cooperates, the public will be able to hop in and lift off for tethered balloon rides.
“Hot air ballooning is highly dependent on weather conditions ...,” notes an article on the website Seattle Ballooning. “Good weather for hot air ballooning typically includes calm wind conditions, clear skies, and warm weather.” Sounds very promising for Ceres.
But nature guarantees nothing. “It’s all depending on the weather,” Ceres Economic Development Manager Tamra Spade told The Bee Thursday. “We could get out there and there’s the possibility of wind” preventing the balloons from launching.
The tethered balloon is not as sensitive to conditions, unless it’s super windy, Spade said, so even if balloonists can’t go anywhere, rides up and down still may be possible.
Spade, who helped lead the former Soaring Over Ripon festival when she was with the Ripon Chamber of Commerce, said, “The nice thing is, the times they couldn’t go up, the balloonists were so nice they would fill their balloons anyway” as a spectacle for festivalgoers.
There are plenty of other festivals and fairs in the greater Modesto region in June, along with Modesto’s Graffiti Summer events. Here’s a look at just some of what’s planned, including more on Skies the Limit:
PATTERSON APRICOT FIESTA – June 2-4: Annual celebration with craft fair, food vendors, live entertainment, a parade at 10 a.m. on Saturday, kids zone and more. Fireworks at dusk Saturday. 5-11 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Downtown Patterson. 209-892-3118.
HILMAR DAIRY FESTIVAL – June 3: Hilmar’s annual event has Little Milkman and Milkmaid contests, exhibits, vendors and fireworks. 5-10 p.m. Hilmar High football field, 7807 N. Lander Ave., Hilmar. Free. hilmarchamber.com.
MERCED COUNTY FAIR – June 7-11: Livestock exhibits, grandstand events, a carnival, food and more. Concert artists include George Michael Reborn, Smash Mouth, Lonestar, Purple Madness: A Tribute to Prince, and Banda Machos. 5 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Wednesday-Friday; 3 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Saturday-Sunday. Merced County Fairgrounds, 900 Martin Luther King Jr. Way. $15, free ages 12 and under. mercedcountyfair.com.
MODESTO JUNETEENTH CELEBRATION – June 17: The festival includes activities for children, food, bands, DJs, vendors, gospel singers, cultural performances, educational exhibits, a Black business expo and community resource information. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Graceada Park, Modesto. 209-568-3643.
CERES HOT AIR BALLOON FESTIVAL – June 17: Skies the Limit festival has a 6 a.m. opening ceremony honoring Hometown Military Heroes. The tentative events schedule has balloons lifting off between 6 and 8 a.m. Tethered rides on balloons available, with fee to be determined. There will be arts and crafts vendors, live entertainment, kids zone and more. 6 a.m.-3 p.m. Ceres River Bluff Regional Park 3761 Hatch Road. Free. Parking and shuttling available. www.ci.ceres.ca.us/1770/Skies-the-Limit-Ceres-Hot-Air-Balloon-Fe
RIVERBANK JUNETEENTH CELEBRATION – June 19: Like the Modesto celebration, the event will include activities for children, food, bands, DJs, vendors, gospel singers, cultural performances, educational exhibits, a Black business expo and community resource information. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Downtown Riverbank Plaza. 209-568-3643.
TUOLUMNE LUMBER JUBILEE – June 23-25: The annual event celebrates the logging industry with vendors, a carnival, parade, games, music, arm wrestling, logging contests and more, ending with a tug-of-war contest Sunday. See website for times. West Side Memorial Park, Tuolumne. Free. vfwpost4748.org/tuolumne-lumber-jubilee.
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