Wayland Hot Air Balloon Festival 2022

The family event will have a carnival at Calkins Field at Wayland Municipal Airport.

WAYLAND, Michigan — September is Suicide Awareness Month, and this week is specifically National Suicide Prevention Week.

Throughout the month, campaigns across the country aim to educate and engage healthcare professionals and the general public about suicide prevention and the warning signs of suicide.

West Michigan works hard to raise awareness and involve the whole community. In Wayland, a group welcomes the second year of the Wayland Balloon Festivalwhich supports suicide awareness and prevention with all kinds of fun hot air balloon events.

It starts on Friday September 9 and continues on Saturday September 10.

“We are really excited about these balloons and want to share them with our community,” said Nissa Smith, one of the event organizers.

This year, the event lasts two days instead of just one. Like last year, proceeds will go to the non-profit association 4One2Cares. Smith started it after losing his mother to suicide 15 years ago.

“For me, what was important was being around other people, talking about it and trying to provide a positive environment.

The family event features all kinds of activities, like a carnival, held at Calkins Field at Wayland Municipal Airport.

Wayland Balloonfest will take place at Calkins Field in Wayland. You’ll find a carnival, live music, car show, vendors, hot air balloon rides, and a balloon glow. There will also be food trucks and a meeting with the balloon pilots.

Smith and organizer Anthony Winters said their goal is to focus on getting more support in schools for children who may be struggling with mental illness.

“I just want people to come to the event and be happy, and find a place where they feel comfortable and safe to talk about it,” Smith said.

To learn more about Wayland Balloonfest and see the full schedule of activities, click here.

If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or in crisis, you can call 988 Suicide and lifeline in case of crisis.

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Melissa C. Keyes