It’s that time of year when throngs of vehicles, heading for the Battle Creek Field of Flight Air Show & Balloon Festival, are clogging local roadways in the vicinity of the Battle Creek Executive Airport at Kellogg Field.  

The five-day event normally attracts between 100,000 to 120,000 visitors, flocking to Battle Creek to take in not only the air show and balloon launching, but also the carnival, numerous food vendors, music shows, kids' events, and even a lumberjack competition that features axe throwing and log rolling. 

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In order to control the traffic flow, in the general area of the airport, temporary road closures are being implemented. The well-known infamous fireworks closures, during the two scheduled fireworks displays, have cramped the style of many uninformed motorists attempting to travel during a nighttime excursion. The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will be taking to the Battle Creek skies, and roadways north and south of the airport have always been favorite sites for gawkers to park their cars and take in the awesome flight maneuvers for free. The City of Battle Creek has issued a warning to motorists:

Do not stop/park along Columbia Avenue south of the airport, or along the north side of Dickman/Helmer Road, north of the airport. Some of the air show teams will not fly with cars parked there, and police will ask you to leave.   

To help in a flawless journey, during the festival road closures, a detailed description of the temporary closures is listed below: 

Thursday, June 30 – 4-11 p.m.  

  • Helmer Road closed to through traffic from Columbia Avenue to Dickman Road   

Friday, July 1 – 10:15-11:30 a.m. and 1:45-3 p.m.  

  • Helmer Road closed to through traffic from Columbia Avenue to Dickman Road  
  • N Helmer closed at Upton Avenue  
  • Wilbur and 5th avenues closed at Helmer  
  • Dickman Road closed from N 32nd Street to JB’s Whiskey/Base Avenue

Friday, July 1 – 2:30-11 p.m.  

  • Helmer Road closed to through traffic from Columbia Avenue to Dickman Road   

Saturday, July 2 – 6:30-9 a.m. – Battle Creek Half Marathon  

  • S Helmer Road closed from Columbia to Dickman  
  • Closures at the start/finish area at 6th Avenue and 28th Street  
  • Police will temporarily stop traffic for runners crossing Columbia Avenue at S 24th Street  
  • Police will be present along the race route, as runners travel through neighborhoods: Hupp Road, Buick Drive, Chalmers Drive, Blackhawk Drive, crossing 24th Street to Lakeshore Drive, Wheaton Avenue, Sherman Drive, Sunnyside Drive, crossing Woodrow Avenue to Terry Court  
  • Back on 24th Street to Territorial Road, to N 32nd Street, West Highland Boulevard, N 33rd Street, West Goguac Street, N 30th Street, back to the starting area   

Saturday, July 2 – Monday, July 4 – 9:30-11 a.m.  

  • Helmer Road closed to through traffic from Columbia Avenue to Dickman Road   

Saturday, July 2 – Monday, July 4 – 4:15-5:15 p.m.  

  • Columbia Avenue and Dickman Road closed around the airport  
  • N Helmer Road closed at Upton Avenue  
  • Wilbur and 5th avenues closed at Helmer 
  • Dickman Road closed from N 32nd Street to JB’s Whiskey/Base Avenue   

Saturday, July 2 AND Monday, July 4 – 10:30 p.m.-midnight – Fireworks 

  • Police-controlled intersections on West Columbia Avenue from Skyline Drive to Capital Avenue SW  
  • Westbound traffic will be routed north 

The good news is that the weather report sounds favorable for the event, with just a slight chance of afternoon showers on Friday. So please stay safe, folks, and keep your tail to the wind. 

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