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The annual event draws in 10,000-15,000 attendees.
Photo provided by Children's Smile Center
The annual event draws in 10,000-15,000 attendees.

Children's Smile Center moves fundraiser to Nixa

Posted online

Children's Smile Center is moving its annual Balloon Glow fundraiser to Nixa from Ozark.

Officials cited concerns with traffic at the former location in Ozark as the event this year moves to a drive-thru format. Balloon Glow since 2012 has been held in conjunction with the Duck Race Festival, and after the two events initially were moved to August from June, officials with the festival decided to call off the race event this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a news release.

“We remember the traffic challenges that presented, especially with the bottleneck in and around Finley River Park in Ozark,” Children’s Smile Center Executive Director Jackie Barger said in a news release. "In addition, if were to have the drive-thru event in the same park in Ozark, many people would attend with expectations of the amenities and facilities they were used to that were provided by the Duck Race Festival, including food/drink vendors, kids’ rides and parking.”

The drive-thru event is scheduled to be held Aug. 21 at McCauley Park in Nixa. Balloon Glow involves showcasing hot-air balloons that are fully inflated and tethered to the ground, with interior light from propane burners lighting up the sky with the colors of their nylon envelopes, according to the release.

The event is slated to bring in more than $30,000 in sponsorship revenue this year for Children's Smile Center.

Barger said via email that the event typically draws 10,000-15,000 attendees.

It's a major fundraiser for Children's Smile Center, which has an operating budget of $1.7 million and 27 full- and part-time employees, Barger said.

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