Stillwater Balloonfest story won’t float away…

KFOR won’t let the hot air run out of the Stillwater Balloonfest story. And in all fairness, we won’t either.

Earlier this week, the station filed yet another report in their now long-running series about the scammy festival from back in April. This time around, they’re reporting that the sleuths in the Payne County Sheriff’s Department are investigating if the festival the looks like a scam and went off like a scam was “planned or advertised legitimately.”


The Payne County Sheriff’s Office says they’re investigating parts of the Redbud Balloon Festival.

Many attendees have told KFOR they were upset after buying tickets to the event and finding a mostly empty field instead. The event was set for April 9-11 in Yale.

“We got in and there was just nothing there. We mainly wanted to go for the piñata; I mean there was nothing,” attendee Marshall Todd said.

The Payne County Sheriff’s Office says they’re looking into if the event was planned or advertised legitimately. As for people being upset with the event, that would still be a civil matter.

I have no clue if the Stillwater Balloonfest was planned as a legitimate event or not. Based on the tone of the organizer’s strongly-worded memo about the event’s ticket policy, it sure feels like a scam. Then again, as a guy who’s spent most of my professional life involved in planning, running and promoting events of all sizes, from the smallest trivia to a large convention, I know how easy it is for people to get in over their heads with a big idea, or in the case of OKCtoberfest, screwed over by their partners.

That being said, I do know this – Stillwater Balloonfest definitely invested in quality handmade signage:

See what I mean? Most festivals use boring vinyl banners for entry signage – not those 3D handcrafted beauties! Maybe that’s what the problem was with balloonfest – the organizer spent too much time making signs, and not enough time booking for trucks, hot air balloons and pinatas.

Anyway, I guess we’ll continue to follow KFOR’s 24-7 coverage of this event and update you when needed. Stay with The Lost Ogle. We’ll keep you advised.

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2 Responses

  1. If it looks like a scam and went off like a scam…

    Oklahoma sheriffs are chosen by campaigning for office in partisan elections, without regard to professional qualifications. So I don’t have much confidence in Oklahoma county sheriffs to investigate an alleged crime like this – or even the kind of stuff that they usually investigate – without help from the AG or the OSBI. Can Sheriff Harper find his butt if he is allowed to use both hands?

  2. Out of morbid curiosity, I clicked on a link for a ticket to this event and I got the very appropriate message “a ticket to nowhere”.

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