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If you are making your way to the Lincoln area this weekend you may notice things will be a little busier than normal.

The annual Art and Balloon Festival takes place this weekend. The weekend event figures to draw several thousand people from all over central Illinois. Lincoln Mayor Keith Snyder explains there will be a couple new events to the festivities this year. Saturday will be the inaugural Kansas City BBQ cook off on the square in downtown Lincoln. According to Mayor Snyder around 40 BBQ enthusiasts will be on the grill Saturday afternoon.

[audio:balloonfest1.mp3]A Word From The Lincoln Mayor[/audio]

Another event being added to the festivities this year is a sidewalk chalk competition. Mayor Snyder says a few areas have been blocked off for folks to come and get creative and display some art using sidewalk chalk. While the the response was hopeful to be good, Mayor Snyder says he did not think the response would be as good as it has been.

[audio:balloonfest2.mp3]A Word From The Lincoln Mayor[/audio]

Of course, when the Art and Balloon Festival comes to mind the hot air balloons may be the popular part of the event. Mayor Snyder says when the balloons get in the air it is something that is not to be missed. 33 balloonists are expected to make their way across from the Logan County Airport this year to lift into the sky Friday and Saturday evenings and also Saturday morning. Mayor Snyder adds each night also sees the balloons glow at dusk.

[audio:balloonfest3.mp3]A Word From The Lincoln Mayor[/audio]

The 38th annual Art Fair will take place downtown. Mayor Snyder notes the art fair is the original event and several years later the hot air balloon portion of the festival became a part of the festivities. The Mayor notes last years attendance was one of the largest the festival has ever had.

[audio:balloonfest.mp3]A Word From The Lincoln Mayor[/audio]

The festivities this year will provide transportation for anyone attending from out of the area not familiar with the City of Lincoln. Mayor Snyder says a shuttle service will be provide from three place in Lincoln. He says there will be one on the west side of Lincoln off of Interstate 55 in the parking lot of the old Wal-Mart building next to Burger King. The shuttle will run from there to the downtown area and then out to Logan County Airport. He adds a trolly service will be provided throughout the downtown area to all the activities. The Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce is the organizer of the shuttle service.

For a full list of activities, a schedule of events and directions to the various activities, you can type www.lincolnillinois.com/ABF on your web browser.

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