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 width=One of Lincoln's biggest yearly events is right around the corner.

The Lincoln Chamber of Commerce's Art and Balloon Festival brings in thousands of visitors each year for the event that includes a balloon glow on Friday and Saturday night, a balloon launch Saturday and Sunday morning and a sanctioned barbecue cook off on the square, with other barbecue vendors serving Saturday and Sunday. Andi Hake, Executive Director of the Lincoln Chamber says the annual art show is a big hit with a wine and craft brew sampling going on as well.

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This will be the fourth year for the Kansas City Barbecue Society's (KCBS) sanctioned barbecue cookoff on the square. Hake says the event has taken off and has become one of the favorites of the annual festival. Because of KCBS regulations, the competitors cannot serve those in attendance, so the chamber arranges for four barbecue vendors to come in for the weekend.

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Giant kites have become one of the most popular attractions of the weekend. According to Hake, they do performances and the kites are so big they can be seen from the highway.

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The biggest draw, of course, and the name for the weekend, the hot air balloons can be seen each day of the festival. Hake says the balloons launch Saturday and Sunday mornings, and they do a glow at dusk Friday and Saturday nights.

For a full list of the weekend's activities and a schedule of events, you can visit http://lincolnillinois.com/events/art-and-balloon-festival/.

This year's Art and Balloon Festival is August 22-24.

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