Hot air and hot rides

July 25, 2008 —

This weekend there are some really interesting things, as usual, going on in Des Moines. The National Balloon Classic will begin in Indianola today and run through Aug. 2. I saw some balloons lazily floating above Des Moines, one morning this week on my way to work and got excited for the festival.

At $3 per person or $10 per carload, this is a fun and decently cheap event. It’s so much fun to watch the balloons take off and glide through the air. You can also take balloon rides, listen to live music and grab some grub from outdoor vendors. Last year, if I remember correctly, they also had kiddy games and rides for families. If you’re interested in photography, shooting photos of these balloons is a blast because they’re so colorful. At night they glow. Check it out!

Also, on Saturday, motorheads can get their engines revved out at the state fairgrounds for a Mecum Auto Auction. The auction starts at 11 a.m. but you can start previewing cars at 9 a.m. My husband loves seeing collector cars so I’ve watched Mecum auctions on TV and am excited to have one in town. If I had the money, I’d buy this one and this one


Photo from


Courtney Tompkins has been part of the DMU marketing team since Nov. 2005 and loves promoting a school she believes in so thoroughly. Proud daughter and patient of DMU alumni, Courtney knows, first-hand, that Des Moines University is doing a world of good. A fan of all outdoor festivals, fruity drinks and nearly all edibles, she has a hard time narrowing down her list of favorite places to go and things to do but lists the Iowa State Fair as an all-time fave. She loves her 8-minute commute to DMU from Urbandale, a suburb of Des Moines. She and husband Tyler are owned by three large dogs, Tonka, Tucker and Tank.


  • Michael Payday

    I was totally in Iowa for this last year, its a must if you’re able! Riding a hot air balloon was one of the coolest things I’ve done, I can’t wait to go back one day.