KISSIMMEE — At the end of the month, Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee and Formosa Gardens shopping plaza in Four Corners — two very different entertainment venues on U.S. 192 — will be hosting a three-day event that offers everything from the joy of our sunny skies to the ability to fly to an appreciation of the rich talent of country music songwriters.
It’s called the Blue Skies & Silver Spurs Festival, and it will be held Friday, May 31 through June 2.
But actually, this is really four festivals rolled into one – a weekend that truly does offer a bit of something for everyone.
So what is there to enjoy?
We can start with the Blue Skies Balloon Festival, an early morning hot air balloon launch guaranteed to take your breath away. Dozens of balloons of all shapes and sizes will take flight amidst the beauty of the morning sky. But you don’t actually have to stand on the ground and look up in order to watch this event. Patrons will have an opportunity to fully appreciate the sights of those ballons — by riding in a hot air balloon yourself! There’s still time to book a flight before the big weekend arrives.
More than 20 hot air balloons are expected to take off during this event. If you prefer to set sail with them, during your ride you’ll ascend anywhere from tree tops to several thousand feet! Once you’re airborne, your pilot will be happy to point out the spectacular sites of this area, from the theme parks and orange groves, to forests and swamps untouched for thousands of years.
Think about it: whether you stay on the ground or set sail into the air, this promises to be an amazing photo opportunity. The event will feature fun-shaped balloons that will float over Kissimmee, including a Space Shuttle, an American flag, Hamlet the Flying Pig, Ella Phant, Purple People Eater and Spunky the Skunk.
The ballons will launch from Formosa Gardens at 7836 W. Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway (U.S. 192) in Four Corners. Corporate and group balloon rides are available. Call 800-831-1844 for more information.
Next, there will be the thrills of the Blue Skies Adventure Race. While the balloons are floating above the crowd, there will be a challenge on the ground with this exciting competition.
It’s an opportunity to test your endurance by competing in a 3.5 mile, rodeo-themed adventure race.
The adventure race will be a challenging, 3.5 mile adventure featuring eight grueling, rodeo-themed obstacles, including:
• Bronco Hurdles
• Chasing the Cans
• Feeding Troth
• The Stalls
• The Walls
• Wagon Trail
The race is fully sanctioned and professionally timed. Registration is $50 per runner. Early registration will include a free race shirt. All participants will receive a race medal. On Saturday, June 1, registration is from 6-7 a.m., when the rce starts. It’s aslo held at Formosa Gardens.
During the race, kids can enjoy their own race activities, including the Kid Cowboy Adventure. There will also be a mini zipline adventure at Formosa Gardens.
This weekend will also host the Endless Summer Songwriters Series. How does it work? Well, let’s say you hear a song — and you know it. You’ve heard it before … but never from the person who actually wrote it.
The key to this third event is that songwriters and their bands will perform top country songs on the open stage, under the blue skies at Osceola Heritage Park — and it’s the singer doing the song he or she wrote.
Under blue skies, you might be in the audience that discovers the Country music scene’s next big act. Six bands from Nashville will be coming to this year’s festival to perform songs they wrote, and which went on to become classics for such country music legends as Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Jason Aldean and Little Big Town. The bands performing include the Tyler Reeve Band, the Brent Cobb Band, and the Adam Craig Band as they break from touring with top musicians such as Lee Brice and Josh Turner.
The performances will be at Osceola Heritage Park at 1875 Silver Spur Lane in Kissimmee.
The fun starts on Friday, May 31, at Osceola Heritage Park, where from 4:30-7 p.m., the Endless Summer Songwriter Series kicks off, along with the Festival Balloon Glow.
Then from 6:30-10:30 p.m., Silver Spurs Arena gears up for the Silver Spurs Rodeo. This terrific event aims to rope in plenty of excitement as it delivers to audiences real cowboys, bulls, broncos, and horses as they compete for top prizes. The rodeo is the largest sanctioned rodeo east of the Mississippi and has been a Kissimmee favorite since the 1940s.
Then on Saturday, June 1 at Formosa Gardens, the Blue Skies Balloon Festival launches from 7-10 a.m., offering both the beauty of watching those ballons soar into the sky, and the option of actually riding one.
It will be followed by the Blue Skies Adventure Race, a Zipline course, and a Kids Race.
That same afternoon, at Osceola Heritage Park from 4:30-7 p.m., the Endless Summer Songwriter Series continues, along with the Festival Balloon Glow. Then from 6:3-10:30 p.m., it’s time for Silver Spurs Rodeo to kick back into gear.
The festival ends on Sunday, June 2 at Formosa Gardens, with the Blue Skies Balloon Festival continuing from 7-10 a.m.
Admission and parking to these events is free!
For more information on this great weekend festival, call 800-831-1844.
If you’re thinking about coming to Central Florida for to visit Osceola Heritage Park, Formosa Gardens and other local attractions, consider staying at a vacation home resort. Give your family the opportunity to enjoy multiple bedrooms, a spacious kitchen and dining area, and your own private pool — your home away from home while you’re on vacation. Call USA Vacation Homes & Spa at 863-424-3835 to learn more.