Category Archives: Festival Activities

Frequently Asked Questions

We get asked a lot of questions regarding our Balloon & Blues Event each year and always refer people to our FAQ page. Here are the top 7, that may answer your questions:

            Sorry, our festival does not offer balloon rides to the public, due to the additional licensing and insurance required. We do recommend contacting a group like the WI Balloon Group at or Balloon Group of IL. These organization’s will help you find reputable and licensed balloon operators who can schedule a ride. Many will also have larger balloons that can accommodate several people, which can reduce the per person cost.
            Admission is FREE to the Balloon and Blues Festival, but if you want to park inside the Green County Fairgrounds, the cost is $3. Our event able to run due to dedicated  volunteers and gracious local business sponsors. We of course hope that you will participate by purchasing parking, food, drinks, and other items while at the event as many of the booths are run by local non-profits and small businesses.
            Hot Air Balloon Launches are scheduled for Friday & Saturday evening at 6:00pm., as well as Saturday morning at 6:00am.
            Hot Air Balloon Glows are Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:30pm on the Fairgrounds. (*Please note that flights may be postponed due to weather concerns. Please watch our Facebook and Twitter page for live updates.)
            We have some of the best Blues Bands in this region, and probably the country, in our humble opinion. This year we are pleased to feature: Dave Potter Trio
            featuring Madison Slim on harmonica
            , Altered Five, Birddog Blues Band, Ivy Ford Band, Dave Fields, Brandon Santini . For more information and schedule please visit our Blues Page.
            We generally have between 12-16 balloons.
            PLEASE, feel free to bring in chairs, blanket or other items to watch the bands, have a picnic or watch the balloon events. BUT, Carry in alcohol is prohibited on the grounds! So, please do not bring alcohol into the grounds. We will have a licensed beer tent available for those who wish to partake
            Please remember to pick up after your dog and that they must remain under your control at all times.

Ivy Ford Band

The Monroe Balloon & Blues Festival is proud to announce that the Ivy Ford Band will be playing live Saturday, June 15th, 2019 from 4:30-6:00pm.


“Miss Ivy Ford, wise beyond her years,”

Ivy Ford, singer, musician, entertainer. Waukegan born and raised, at 25 she is quite the up and coming artist of the Chicago blues and live music scene. Ivy Ford started performing live with Kenosha based band The Real Deal, managed by Steve Rainey at 13 and since then continues to nurture her niche and calling to the music. She plays piano, alto saxophone, drums, bass guitar and guitar which are primarily self taught. In late 2012, Ford joined a local blues band which in time evolved into Ivy Ford and The Cadillacs and gained fair amounts of popularity.

Fast forward two years and Ivy Ford has managed to take the Chicago scene by storm. In January,2015 Ivy Ford opened for the legend, Buddy Guy at his club in Chicago and continues to share the stage with Chicago blues hall of famers, J.B. Ritchie, Joe Moss, Toronzo Cannon and Tom Holland. She fronts her very own band and besides obtaining the title of “Chicago’s Blues Kitten,” performs song selections from not just the blues genres but RnB and soul. Aside from performing every weekend at both private and public event, clubs and venues, she is in the process of recording an unplugged album including originals. Some recent event for Ford include, radio shows on 90.9 WDCB, and In a Nutshell radio show on 98.3 WRLR. She’s been apart of Buddy Guys Legends, Artist series and traveled to Minneapolis, MN to perform at Artspace’s 2013 Celebration at the Cowle Theater. Ivy Ford has been featured in Buddy Guy’s Blues and Music News, Lake County Magazine and Blues Guitar Expert’s online forum. To follow or check into Ford’s shows and happenings go to or Twitter at #MissIvyFord.

Ivy Ford, is one of the leading “youngbloods” of blues and brings a refreshing yet classic face to the music. She handles her cherry red, Epiphone-339 with as much confidence as any of the bluesmen today and can belt out notes to fill a room and serenade a phrase sweeter than sugar in ways that make anyone and everyone tune in to what she has to say. Ivy Ford, always respects the history and tradition of roots and blues music, while presenting it in a fresh, young and trendy way.

Passing The Torch…

When not fronting her own blues party, Ivy is quite respected backing up Chicago Blues Hall of Fame Inductee, J.B. Ritchie. Legendary guitarist and frontman as his bass player. Ritchie has played alongside some of the greats himself and has been amongst famous artists such as Muddy Waters and Johnny Winter.

J.B. Ritchie as taken Ivy Ford under his wing and not only passes on the traditions of what being a class act entertainer and musician is about also shares a kindred friend and fellowsip from one artist to another.

The audience proclaimed, “Perfect Storm,” frequently share the stage in the Chicago circuit and special events

Check them out at:

Balloon Glows

Location and Days

The Fairgrounds Balloon Glows is an event that features hot-air-balloons being inflated after dark on both Friday and Saturday evening. This special activity offers viewers a spectacle of fire and color unlike anything else you’re likely to see on a warm summer evening in Southern Wisconsin (or anywhere else for that matter). Hot air balloons stand like over-grown Chinese lanterns against the night sky, providing a breathtaking new perspective on the world of ballooning.

As seen in the video from a previous year, balloons launch in the evening (weather permitting) around 6:00 pm and fly from the fairgrounds (direction based on winds) and later return to the fairgrounds to setup again for a demonstration that begins between 8/8:30. As daylight fades, between 9/9:30, the balloons perform coordinated glows.

In addition, many times the Balloon Event Coordinator, will allow people to come out to the field to get up close and personal with the balloons and teams, as well as take videos and photos.

Friday 8:30 p.m. Fairgrounds Balloon Glow Green County Fairgrounds
Saturday 8:30 p.m. Fairgrounds Balloon Glow Green County Fairgrounds

Click here to view the complete Balloon and Blues Festival Schdule