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Students submit winning design artwork for Balloon Festival
Balloon Festival artwork
Alana Inahara’s design (left) will be featured on festival T-shirts while Diego Valencia’s design will be used as the festival logo to be used on the marketing signs. - photo by Courtesy of the city of Ceres

Two high school students from Ceres submitted winning art for the upcoming 1st annual Hot Air Balloon Festival and netted a prize of $50 gift cards.

The city of Ceres conducted a contest to come up with designs that will be used to promote the Saturday, June 17 event. Two were selected as winners.

A design created by Ceres High School student Alana Inahara was chosen by the city to be featured on festival T-shirts after scoring as the most transferable, detailed and included diversity.

The art created by Central Valley High School student Diego Valencia will be used as the festival logo to be used on the marketing signs. It scored high as most detailed and creative.

Besides the gift cards, both Inahara and Valencia will be recognized at the opening ceremony and given an award. They and their teachers will also be invited and recognized at the opening dinner the night before. The artists will each receive a free T-shirt for themselves and their family members.

Ceres Economic Development Manager Tamra Spade said the annual family-friendly community event will be the only festival of its kind in the Valley since Ripon cancelled its balloon festival. Plans are to run the free-of-charge festival from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. with an opening ceremony and Chamber ribbon cutting, a balloon launch from the soccer fields, Lions Club pancake breakfast, arts and crafts vendors, a carnival for kids and bands playing live music. Spade feels the event would draw people from all over to Ceres where they would purchase gas, shop in stores, stay in hotels and eat in Ceres restaurants.