Hot air balloons light up Friars Field

Hot air balloons that have been inflated but tied to the ground in preparation for the production of the balloon glow event at quincy university

Homecoming weekend and all of the numerous activities and events being held for all walks of Quincy inhabitants from the students to townspeople and alumni began on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022. 

The town’s renowned balloon glow was the main event of night one that kickstarted the train of homecoming. As per tradition, the event was located on the grounds of the university on Friars Field

Hot air balloons of massive size, ranging in all different patterns, shapes and colors lit up the field and the night sky while large crowds gathered after the conclusion of the homecoming parade to spectate the balloon glow event.

Hot air balloons illuminating Friars Field

Balloons and the homecoming parade weren’t the only attractions of the night for the event as the university put on a full display of vendor trucks and stands for people to really take in this event and all of its glory effectively.

“Transferring from a massive city like (Las) Vegas to here has been a culture shock to me kind of, so to see an event get put on like this and the crowd it draws in. It gives me hope that fun things actually go on in this town,” Ty Gilitzer said.  

The QU Marching Band made an appearance and performance for the event alongside being the lead of the parade that was coordinated around campus. 

This was the first time the event was held since COVID-19 impacted the way the world operated. But it seemed as if this year the sense of normality set in with all the events taking place and all four days of homecoming weekend being action packed. 

The crowd and the atmosphere appeared as if the tradition of the balloon glow had never even really left in the first place.  

Balloons beginning to inflate

“I hadn’t attended last year’s event because it didn’t seem like something that important to be at. I think this year with us being represented alongside of the rest of the schooland everyone being there for it for the most part was what really made this year’s event special,” Kade Beaton, athlete, said. 

More balloons were added to this year’s event compared to last year’s, going from the total of six to eight hot air balloons for the production of the event. 

“I’m pretty scared of heights but going up in one of those things someday has always been something I wanted to do, getting to see them set up and experience the display the school puts on will have to do for now,” Nate Osborn said. 

All of the balloons “lighting” up simultaneously

The townspeople seemed to thoroughly enjoy the display, most alongside their families for the children to experience the event and to bring everyone together in a sense of comradery. 

The experience can only truly be seen and felt in person compared to being verbally described, the balloon glow event is a popular highlight of homecoming weekend.

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