Students can let their worries float away at Siebert Lawn this weekend thanks to a new festival from the Ohio Union Activities Board. 

The OUABalloon Festival will include hot air balloon rides, carnival and lawn games, a caricature and balloon artist and food provided by campus food truck Thyme & Change, Brynna Maxey, director of special events and a fourth-year in neuroscience, said. 

“I think it provides a really unique opportunity, especially if given the chance to go up in the hot air balloon — something that they might not normally have been able to do elsewhere,” Maxey said.

OUAB is partnering with Real Adventure Hot Air Balloon Co. for the event. Tim Hampton, an adjunct instructor in the Department of Human Sciences and founder of the company, will pilot the hot air balloon.  

Maxey said there will be prizes for some of the games, such as reusable utensils made from bamboo, a limited supply of hammocks or blankets, stickers and candy. 

Students will be given an $8 food voucher at event check-in to spend on a menu of pulled pork, grilled cheese and chicken and waffles from Thyme & Change, Maxey said. 

The hot air balloon rides are first come, first served and contingent on weather conditions, Maxey said. The balloon will rise 25 to 50 feet above Siebert Lawn while tethered to the ground, and — though every ride is different — Maxey said each ride will last no longer than 10 minutes. She added that the rides depend on weight distribution, but normally hold two to four people per ride.

OUAB has not offered a hot air balloon ride in several years, which led them to want to reintroduce it to a new group of students, Sarah Locaputo, a member of special events committee and a fourth-year in industrial and systems engineering, said.

“That was kind of our new, like, once-in-a-lifetime-type event we were trying to bring here because that’s not an opportunity that many people just happen across,” Locaputo said. 

Though OUAB hosts many of their events at the Union, Locaputo said she is excited for the change in scenery and thinks Siebert Lawn is an ideal location for students across campus to interact.

The OUABalloon Festival will take place from 5-8 p.m. Sunday at Siebert Lawn. Admission is free with a valid BuckID.