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OTTUMWA — Ready to rise? The annual pro balloon races are back in Ottumwa.

The fun begins tonight, with the carnival and beer garden opening at 5 p.m. and the music kicking off an hour later. Friday starts early with a 6 a.m. flight.

While the balloon glows at dusk on Friday and Saturday are two of the most popular events, other activities each day have their own attraction. Chainsaw carving will take place at 9 a.m. Saturday, and a corn hole tournament is at 10 a.m. Things really ramp up in the evening with music, a 6 p.m. flight and other fun.

Flights depend heavily on the weather, of course, so fans should hope for calm winds and storms to stay out of the area. The National Weather Service gives Ottumwa a favorable forecast, but it will be hot.

The full schedule is at https://www.ottumwaproballoonraces.com/events.

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