Balloons, music, fireworks, food and fun are on tap for the Hall of Fame Balloon Classic & Fireworks from July 27 through July 29.

JACKSON TWP.  The Pig will be back, joined by a dragon, a rocket and an elephant.

Those are just a few of the character balloons set to fly during the Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival Balloon Classic and Fireworks beginning Friday and running through Sunday at the Kent State University Stark campus.

There are 52 balloonists from around the country registered to participate. Weather permitting there will be five flights during the weekend. The event attracts more than 130,000 spectators.

Among the balloons, the pink pig-shaped balloon has been an event favorite for several years. Other shaped balloons joining it will be Oggy the Friendly Dragon, the American Rocket, the football-shaped Touchdown, and the elephant-shaped Pea-nut.

It will be the second year the DreamShip will be at the Balloon Classic. Fabric for the DreamShip features illustrations by the children of fallen and disabled members of the military. The children are Folds of Honor scholarship recipients and the artwork showcases what they want to be when they grow up.

The DreamShip is a project created by a partnership between the KidCents program developed by the Rite Aid Foundation and Folds of Honor, a nonprofit organization that works to provide scholarships to the families of fallen or disabled troops.

As usual, balloon fans can get their first look early Friday morning. If the weather allows, balloons will launch between 6:30 and 7 a.m. If there is no launch, balloon crews still might try to inflate. Another launch is planned to 7 p.m., with the "Night Glow" planned for 9:30 p.m., but that again depends on the weather.

Balloon launches also are planned for Saturday morning and evening, as well as Sunday morning, weather permitting.

Fireworks will be at 10 p.m. on Saturday, as long as inclement weather doesn't interfere.

Weather won't interfere with the Up, Up and Away 5K, which is in its second year. The race starts at 8 a.m. Saturday and is part of the Ohio Challenge Series. The top three male and female runners each receive two 10,000-mile travel vouchers from Spirit Airlines, and there are opportunities to win door prizes.

New this year is a free Kids Fun Run for ages 8 and under and sponsored by Schumacher Homes. The post race party includes inflatables for kids, snacks and beverages.

Another new event following the race is a doughnut-eating contest. People can register at any Mary Ann Donuts location to participate.

In between the balloon launches and fireworks, there will be bands, two children's areas and food vendors selling pizza, funnel cakes and other assorted fare. There also will be beer booths.

Parking for the event is available at the Kent State Stark and Stark State College lots for $5 after 3:30 p.m. Attendees can bring blankets and chairs, as well as cameras, but tents aren't permitted. Service dogs are welcome, but other dogs and animals are not permitted.

Reach Edd at 330-580-8484 or edd.pritchard@cantonrep.com

On Twitter: @epritchardREP