The fourth annual balloon glow is Thursday, September 20. It is one of my favorite events of the year and it is 100 percent free. But in order to make the most of the popular evening, there are a couple things you'll want to keep in mind.

If you have never been to the balloon glow, it truly is mesmerizing to see up close. The balloon glow will take place at Friars’ Field (20th and College) with ten hot air balloons. Food and beverages will be provided and there will be bounce houses and activities for the kids.

Here are a few more details to remember if you plan on going to the balloon glow:

  1. Show up around 6:30 and you can see the balloons being inflated for the evening. The sun sets at 7:05 at which point the balloons will be all the way up and you can get some great photos.
  2. Plan on staying late as the balloons will be lighting up the night sky until 9:00 pm.
  3. As much fun as it is to walk around and see them up close, you might want to sit back and relax. So bring a lawn chair as there is no seating available.
  4. Of course you'll want to bring your camera. This guy has some good tips for photographing a balloon glow.
  5. Bring the kids along. Not only will they love seeing the balloons up close, but some pilots will even let kids climb into the basket for a photo. Don't worry, the balloons are tethered to the ground so they aren't going anywhere.
  6. Parking can be tricky. The best lot for parking will be QU’s A Lot (20th and Oak), but it will fill up quickly. Your best bet will be to hope for a good spot on 20th Street. But you may have to walk a couple blocks as it will be crowded.
  7. Weather is going to be unseasonably warm, so dress accordingly.
  8. As much fun as Thursday night will be, the balloons won't be taking to the skies. If you want to see them take off, swing by the exact same location on Friday morning around 6:30 am and you'll see all of the balloons take off with some lucky passengers.