Indianola, founded in 1849, is the county seat of Warren County, Iowa. It is located 12 miles south of Iowa’s capital, Des Moines, at the intersection of U.S. highways 65 and 69 and state highway 92. The city is home of the National Balloon Museum, begun in 1972; the National Balloon Classic, an annual nine-day balloon rally; the Balloon Federation of America’s national office; Simpson College; the Des Moines Metro Opera, a widely acclaimed summer opera festival; and is host to the Iowa Wine Festival each summer. This book focuses on the history of ballooning in Indianola, which hosted the U.S. National Hot Air Balloon Championships from 1970 to 1988, and the National Balloon Classic from 1989 to the present. This is the story of how Indianola became the ballooning capital of Iowa.
About the Author
The authors are Becky S. Wigeland, curator, and Dennis D. Nicholson, assistant to the curator at the National Balloon Museum, two of its many volunteers. Becky is a ballooning enthusiast and a retired school teacher. Dennis does much of the graphic artwork for the museum and is a member of the museum board of directors and a retired pastor. The images in this book have been gathered largely from the archives of the National Balloon Museum, the authors, and from balloonists as well as from other sources.
Table of Contents
1 First Iowa Balloon Flights 9
2 Early Beginnings 15
3 Ballooning for the Masses 25
4 Sport Ballooning Comes of Age in the 1960s 29
5 Sport Ballooning Comes to Indianola 43
6 Ballooning Spreads across Iowa 59
7 Ballooning in Indianola Evolves 69
8 Indianola Becomes Site of the National Balloon Museum 73
9 Ballooning over Indianola Fascinates the Crowds 117
10 Color Photo Album 129