The Citizen Potawatomi Nation hosts Oklahoma’s largest hot-air balloon event—the FireLake Fireflight Balloon Fest in Shawnee. The annual festival features two days of family-friendly activities that include balloon glows, balloon launches and rides, live entertainment, balloon artists, a carnival, inflatables, a 5k race, fireworks and more. Some of Oklahoma’s best vendors are on hand, offering apparel home goods, jewelry and art. And a variety of food trucks ensure that no attendees go hungry.
We see people coming in from New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas, Colorado, all over the country. They eat at our restaurants, shop at our shopping centers, stay at our hotels. It’s just a benefit for the city as a whole.
The Balloon Fest takes place at the Citizen Potawatomi Nation Powwow Grounds. It’s held in conjunction with the Outdoor Nation Expo, which features more than 130 hunting and fishing vendors and demonstrations at FireLake Arena.
We have an average of about fifty to sixty thousand people a day.
“Fireflight is a great example of an event that tribes in this whole state are putting on,” says Amanda Johnson, CEO of Visit Shawnee. Lindie Vanantwerp agrees. “This is one of those weekends where you would say, hey, come to my town this weekend, I want to show you around. I want to show you what we've got to offer,” explains the membership director for Shawnee Forward.
“Going out to the Grand, that gives you a lot of entertainment in the evening time. There's amazing steakhouses, and sushi, and all these things that Shawnee didn't have before that are here now,” Vanantwerp elaborates.
A lot of the things I market as a destination marketer for Shawnee have to do with Citizen Potawatomi Nation. They have a bowling alley. The Eagle Aviary. They have the golf course. The Cultural Heritage Museum. So there's a lot of things that they offer.
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