U.S. Bank Balloons, Tunes and BBQ Presented by Houchens Industries September 10 – 13, 2015 Hosted by


U.S. Bank Balloons, Tunes and BBQ

Presented by Houchens Industries

September 10 – 13, 2015

Hosted by United Way of Southern Kentucky at the

Bowling Green/Warren County Regional Airport


United Way of Southern Kentucky is pleased to announce that the 25th anniversary of the U.S. Bank Balloons, Tunes and BBQ festival will take place September 10-13, 2015 at the Bowling Green / Warren County Regional Airport.  The festival is designed for the enjoyment and affordability of the entire family. Title Sponsor U.S. Bank has teamed up with Presenting Sponsor Houchens Industries and Supporting Sponsors, J B Distributors, Fruit of the Loom, Miller’s Bottled Gas, Hampton Inn, RC Cola, WBKO, WGGC 95.1, D&M Electric, Whayne Supply, Graves Gilbert Clinic, the Bowling Green Area Convention Bureau, and the Bowling Green/ Warren County Regional Airport - to make this event possible.  United Way of Southern Kentucky is the proud host of this community event. Net proceeds from the festival will be used by United Way to impact critical issues affecting those in need across the BRADD region in the areas of Education, Income, Health, and Safety Net – the building blocks for a good quality of life.

This year’s event promises excitement and enjoyment for all ages!  Attractions will include several children’s activities including a Kids’ Zone, an inflatable fair friendly for children of all ages, BBQ to tempt the taste buds with seating available for patrons, and several displays.  The Kids’ Zone, inflatables, display vendors, and food vendors will be present throughout the weekend.  You don’t want to miss the action! The festival’s live entertainment will once again be top notch!

The festival kicks off when gates open at 5 p.m. on Thursday in recognition of “Kids’ Night”. The Kids’ Zone and Inflatable Fair will be up and running until 8 p.m. Entrance for Kids’ Night is FREE to all patrons! “Kids’ Night” sponsor WBKO will be hosting and details of the evening may also be tracked at www.wbko.com.

Friday gates open at 3 p.m. for “Fruit of the Loom Family Night.”  Friday night will feature spectacular stage performances sponsored by WGGC 95.1 (www.wggc.com).  The Friday night concert promises to be a very special night.  Opening at 6:00 p.m. will be regional band

Jericho Woods. Kentucky has always been known for Bluegrass and Bourbon, but the roots of Jericho Woods run deeper than that. Jericho Woods is one-part Grand Ole Opry and one-part Muscle Shoals. A musical experience that only boys brought up in this diverse Commonwealth could produce. With influences ranging from Punk and Indie-Rock, to Folk and Bluegrass, Jericho Woods draws from the best to craft great music, plain and simple. The kind of music you can get behind!  Nashville recording artists THE FARM (www.thefarmmusic.com) will take the stage at 7:15 p.m. THE FARM (charting singles include Home Sweet Home and Be Grateful) has performed at the festival on other occasions, once as a prior headliner and once as stage host, and has been so impressed with the support of the community for this United Way fund-raiser that they have agreed to play for the fans of south central Kentucky once again!  Headlining this year’s Friday night concert at 8:45 p.m. is the one and only Joe Nichols (www.joenichols.com).  That’s right, the same Joe Nichols that’s produced chart topping hits like “Yeah,” “Sunny and 75,” “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off,” “Brokenheartsville,” “Gimme That Girl,” “What’s a Guy Gotta Do,” and “The Shape I’m In,” among others!  This Red Bow recording artist is enjoying life, freedom, family and fun, and brings his tour to Bowling Green, Kentucky, for a memorable night of traditional country music with a modern rock-pop feel.  Country music fans are in for a real treat on Friday night with this star studded line up!   

Hot air balloons will be on display Friday evening at dusk for the ever popular Balloon Glow sponsored by Fruit of the Loom. Prior to the Balloon Glow, the balloon field will offer Tether rides -- weather and wind permitting, subject to authorization by on site FAA representatives, and subject to availability due to FAA imposed time line / sunset restrictions. 

Gates open on Saturday at 3 p.m. and stage entertainment Saturday evening will feature a grand lineup for country music fans.  WGGC 95.1 (www.wggc.com) will once again sponsor an awesome ‘95 Live’ summer finale concert.  The music fires up at 6 p.m. when regional band Van Winkle takes to the stage with their edgy ‘Americana rock / country’ sound.  Then, expect a rocking country performance by Confederate Railroad (www.confederaterailroad.net) at 7:15 p.m.  Confederate Railroad first rolled onto the national country music scene in the early 90s with its unique style and sound. The first single from their debut album ("Confederate Railroad") was "She Took It Like A Man". It charted and was a preview of what was to come. The next two singles, "Jesus and Mama" and "Queen of Memphis" went to the top of the charts. Three more huge hits followed, "Trashy Women", "When You Leave That Way You Can Never Go Back", and "She Never Cried". "Trashy" would lead to a Grammy nomination and become their signature song. That album with six hits and nearly three million sales brought Confederate the Academy of Country Music's Best New Group Award in 1993 as well as numerous nominations from the Country Music Association and the British Country Music Foundation. The second album, "Notorious", produced one of the group's most popular songs "Daddy Never Was the Cadillac Kind" which became a #1 video as well. "Elvis and Andy" and "Summer in Dixie" would further establish the Railroad as one of the most versatile acts in the business. This album would sell more than one million copies. They’ve charted 18 hits and sold over five million albums.  Wrapping up the Saturday night concert slate at 8:45 p.m. will be country music star, Mark Wills (www.markwills.musiccitynetworks.com/).  Mark Wills is a multi-platinum selling country music artist with several top hits to his name including "19 Something," "Back At One," “I Do (Cherish You),” “Jacobs Ladder,” and "Don't Laugh At Me;" several of Mark’s songs have received nominations for Single, Song and Video of the Year by the Country Music Association. Wills won the Academy of Country Music's award for Top New Male Vocalist in 1998. In 2002, his single "19 Something" spent six consecutive weeks at No. 1, was Billboard's top country hit of the year and was the second most-played song of the decade...and that's just one chapter in Mark Wills' life story.  Since garnering his Top New Male Vocalist recognition in 1998, Wills has become a staple in country music, regularly appearing at the Grand Ole Opry, like salt and pepper on a table; the chapters may have changed, but the story continues.

Finally, the staple of the event since its inception in 1990, Hot Air Balloons, will return once again.  Hot air balloonists from all over the country will converge on Bowling Green to compete for $10,000 in prize money.  Hot air balloon competitive events will be held throughout the weekend, testing the skill set of some of the sport’s best pilots.  Hot Air Balloon Rides

(un-tethered) will be available again this year for a fee, weather and wind permitting.  You can book your ride now by signing up at the Balloons, Tunes & BBQ official website (www.balloonstunesbbq.com).  Competitive events kick off with a Saturday morning fly-in, crowd favorite Hare and Hound competitive lift off will be Saturday afternoon, and the final fly-in event will be held on Sunday morning with the announcement of the Grand Prize Winner shortly thereafter.  The skies of Bowling Green will be full of color as dozens of hot air balloons fill the air! 

Single day passes are available for Friday and Saturday. The pass includes free parking, free unlimited access to the Kids’ Zone, bounce houses and inflatable attractions and free evening stage performances.  Food, drinks, and souvenirs are not included with the pass.

Prices are:                                       

  • Thursday: FREE
  • Friday: $15 per person – 10 and under FREE (tickets sold online and on site admission gate)
  • Saturday: $15 per person – 10 and under FREE (tickets sold online and on site admission gate)

Reserved seating passes are available for Saturday night through advance purchase only. Saturday night reserved seating passes include express admission and reserved performance seating. Saturday night reserved seating passes can be purchased by calling 270-843-3205 for $50 each or online. Only 50 reserved passes are available for Saturday and will sell quickly.

A limited number of Corporate Tent Sponsorships are available for $1,500 and include a 20 X 20 tent for Friday night and Saturday nights, company banner(s) will be displayed during the entire event at the tent, 15 Admission Tickets for Friday and Saturday, 2 VIP Parking Passes for Friday and Saturday, and 4 VIP Tethered Ride Tickets for Friday night (FAA and weather permitting). Sponsorships can be purchased by calling the United Way office at 270-843-3205.

In making the announcement, Steve Wallace, United Way of Southern Kentucky President and CEO, noted, “Year after year, one of the top multi-day outdoor festivals in Kentucky is U.S. Bank’s Balloons, Tunes & BBQ. People travel from all across Kentucky, Tennessee and beyond to enjoy live performances from the best artists in country music, eat mouth-watering barbeque from local pit-masters, and watch exciting hot-air balloon competitive events by professional balloonists from around the country. This year our festival celebrates its 25th anniversary, and none of it would be possible if we did not have the continued support from our community partners.  Partners like Craig Browning and U.S. Bank, our Title Sponsor, and Alan Larsen and Houchens Industries, our Presenting Sponsor. Their financial support of this event helps to ensure that every dollar United Way nets from the festival is re-invested back into the community to do the good work that is needed every day. Partners like Rob Barnett and the team at the Bowling Green/Warren County Regional Airport. Without the partnership of Rob, his staff and board, we would not have a place in Bowling Green big enough to bring the 20,000+ people that attend this annual outdoor weekend event. This year is really going to be spectacular - two full nights of performances by top country music acts, balloon rides for the public and competitive balloon contests, children’s activities and delicious food. There’s no question that Bowling Green will once again be alive with the sights, sounds, and aromas that can only be…Balloons, Tunes and BBQ!”

In commenting on U.S. Bank’s involvement, Craig Browning, U.S. Bank Regional President and Festival Co-Coordinator, noted, “We are very pleased to again be the Title Sponsor of Bowling Green’s premiere outdoor festival.  We’re extremely excited about the quality of entertainment scheduled for the event.  Throw in hot air balloons and the Kids’ Zone, and patrons will quickly realize this event has significant entertainment value -- all right here in south central Kentucky!   We strive to make the event family affordable while at the same time raising much needed funds for those in need within our community.  United Way of Southern Kentucky fulfills a vital role in our region and we're pleased that they have once again chosen to host this festival. The proceeds of this event will serve to improve the lives of thousands over the course of the next year. Finally, we couldn’t be more appreciative of not only our individual volunteers but also to all of our sponsors for their support.  It’s a special thing to see this many members of our corporate community come together for a common cause.”

United Way of Southern Kentucky would like to recognize the hundreds of volunteers and the tremendous support of sponsors that help to make this event possible.  The event is produced with promotional support from the Bowling Green Area Convention Visitors Bureau - Vicki Fitch, Executive Director.  The Miller Family and Miller Gas have been a strong partner over the years – without them, the balloons couldn’t fly, and they have been so dedicated to this event with their human and financial resources. Finally, United Way of Southern Kentucky wishes to thank and recognize Rob Barnett and the BG/Warren County Regional Airport staff and Board of Directors for their continuing support. It is the combined efforts of all of these individuals that will result in a wonderful benefit back to the community through United Way. Thousands of lives will be changed as the result of the generosity of these volunteers, sponsors and those of who come out and support this remarkable community event.

Anyone interested in volunteering or simply seeking more information about the event may call the U.S. Bank Balloons, Tunes and BBQ Hotline at 270.745.7532.   Volunteers may leave a message and expect a return call from one of the event coordinators.  For additional information or to purchase your advance tickets you may visit online at www.balloonstunesbbq.com, www.facebook.com/BalloonsTunesBBQ, or contact the United Way office at 270.843.3205.  Coordinators will continue to update the website and our Facebook page as additional information becomes available.

For more information on how you can make the choice to LIVE UNITED through giving, advocating and volunteering, log on to the United Way of Southern Kentucky website at www.liveunitedtoday.com.  

United Way of Southern Kentucky (UWSK) is a local, independent, non-profit organization that works to identify and address the issues that matter most, change conditions and improve lives in our community. United Way is focused on the building blocks for good quality of life – Education, Income, Health and Safety Net. Incorporated as a charitable non-profit entity in 1956, UWSK has long served a major role in the community by bringing people together to create opportunities that make a measurable difference in the quality of life for people where they live and work. The mission of United Way of Southern Kentucky is to be the leader in bringing together the resources to build a stronger, more caring community.


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