The Marshall County Blueberry Festival


Plymouth, Indiana is a small town in Northern Indiana. The surrounding countryside is a humid sea of alternating beans and corn, broken here and there by islands of trees. Plymouth is located East of Valparaiso (or "Valpo", as the locals say) and south of Nappanee, with its Amish and Mennonite communities.


Blueberry Hank

Every Labor Day weekend, Plymouth hosts the Marshall County Blueberry Festival, Indiana's largest three-day festival. The festival includes live entertainment, a carnival, athletic competition, and a hot-air balloon rally. Local balloonists and rally organizers Jeff and Lenore Jones invited me to be the featured balloon at their rally in 2004, and although I had already completed my Indiana flights for States of Enlightenment the previous year, I was happy to accept the invitation as the last stop on the summer portion of my 2004 tour.

Festival Visitors



As everyone knows, ballooning is a classy activity in which one frequently hobnobs with royalty. I had my picture taken with H.R.H. Juli Hueni, the Blueberry Queen.


I was scheduled to fly on Saturday afternoon. Local volunteers helped me inflate my balloons. Bill Oliver and some of the balloonists I had met during my cluster flights in Bloomington Indiana the year before were also there to lend a hand.




When I was ready to fly, I walked over to where the hot-air balloons were inflating. A crowd had gathered to watch the launch.