Hot air balloons light up Quincy University’s Campus

On September 30, 2021 from 6:30-9 p.m. school spirit flooded Friars Field at Quincy University’s campus where the annual Balloon Glow was held to kick off homecoming weekend.

The evening was cool, and the warm sun was starting to set as people began setting up their chairs and blankets. Different food and drink vendors were lined up all round the edge of the field for people to enjoy. As the night grew dark the hot air balloons began to be set up in the middle of the field. There was a total of nine hot air balloons taking over Friars field and lighting up the night. There were numerous QU students and faculty, as well as many community members that came out to join the festivity.

“I decided to come to the Balloon Glow because it is actually a tradition in my hometown, Centralia, IL,” Graci White said. “Every year in August we have an event called the Balloon Fest that revolves around hot air balloons.”

“I went to the Balloon Glow because some friends invited me to tag along,” Hannah Sperry said. “Also, I heard that it was a great event in the past by some upperclassmen, and I was kind of intrigued just to see what the balloon glow had to offer.”

Students had the opportunity to have a taste of a variety of local restaurants and businesses that were at the event. The vendor choices included: TCBY frozen yogurt, The YUM Factory, The Red-Light Mobile Grill, Tasty J’s, 8te open, Melton’s Concessions, Gengenbacher’s Shaved Ice, and Wine on Broadway.

“I decided to try the Red-Light Mobile Grill which was really good,” Sara Warning said. “I was disappointed that they ran out of their pulled pork nachos, but their cheeseburger and homemade chips were good.”

“I tried the Yum Factory and I loved it. I got the Razz-a-Tazz which is a lotus drink,” White said. “I just really love lotus drinks so much!”

“I was pleasantly surprised when I showed up to campus and there were so many different vendors,” Sperry said. “I was unable to try anything, but they had a really great variety all around the area and a little bit of everything for everyone.”

Students shared their thoughts overall on the success of the event. Some students also shared ideas they had about changes or improvements that could improve the event in the future.

“I think some of the vendors could have been relocated to a different part of the field. The lines for the food trucks started to interfere with the balloon setup,” Warning said. “When I was in line things became a little chaotic because everyone was trying to order food and then try to move and make space for the balloons.”

“I personally do not think I would change anything about this event,” White said. “It was a very fun experience, especially since I did not get to have this experience last year, my freshman year due to COVID-19.”

“Honestly, I don’t think that there would be much that I would change about the balloon glow because it was an amazing event and I’m glad I went,” Sperry said. “I think maybe adding a few carnival games before the balloons start glowing, would increase the amount of people that participated. It could make a more welcoming environment.”

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