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Rainy weather did its best to hinder the Ravenna Balloon A-Fair on Saturday.
Downpours came just as units were about to step off for the morning parade. Skies cleared up afterward, and those attending the downtown festival thought the rest of the day might be rain-free -- until another downpour hit at about 2:30 p.m.
And a light rain fell over Sunbeau Valley Farm just as balloonists were arriving, and balloon launches for Saturday were cancelled.
Organizers and balloonists held out hope for a promising weather forecast for today, which may mean balloons will go up on the second day of the festival, as was the case last year.
Jeanie Ferguson, head of the committee for the Grand Parade, said the festival went well despite the intermittent bouts of rain.
"Really, it wasn't as bad as what we thought," she said. "The kids' rides still went on, the bands were playing, and we couldn't believe the number of people that came down for the parade. Rainy weather doesn't keep people away."
Balloonists, she said, expressed hope about the chance for a balloon liftoff today.
Pete Hawkins, balloonmeister for the event, said he called off Saturday's launch not only because of the rain, which had lessened by the 5:30 p.m. scheduled launch, but also because of the forecasted wind that was on the way.
"We have full control up and down, but not side to side," he said. "With the wind, that doesn't give us a safe option."
Hawkins has been bringing his balloon, Boo Loo Noodles, to the Balloon A-Fair for 37 of the event's 38-year history.
Sunbeau will reopen at 9 a.m. today, with a second scheduled balloon launch at 5:30 p.m., weather permitting.
Admission to Sunbeau is $5, with free parking at the farm.
Other activities at Sunbeau include musical entertainment, helicopter rides, and a car show and tractor show today.
Contact this reporter at 330-298-1139 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook: Diane Smith, Record-Courier