Festivals & Events

2018 Balloon Festivals in the USA (Calendar & List View)

Colorado Springs Hot Air Balloon Competition
Written by Town & Tourist

2018 Balloon Festivals in the USA

Hot air balloon festivals are held annually, throughout the year, all over the USA and the world. We have updated our calendar for 2018 balloon festivals (the ones with actual dates have been confirmed and the others just list the month that they were in this year), to be held in 25 states across the USA. The list view is sortable by balloon festival name, state, and date. If you do come across one that we missed, please link to it in the comments below and we will try to get it added before the 2018 balloon festival season ends.

2018 Albuquerque Balloon Festival

The Largest Hot Air Balloon Festival in the World!

The largest hot air balloon festival in the world, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, takes place in October each year in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The 9 day long Balloon Fiesta has over 500 participating balloons each year. Here is a terrific blog post about the 2015 Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta with tons of photos.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Img Credit: https://flic.kr/p/3qmj8j

The Balloon Glow is a Magical Sight!

The finale for many of these balloon festivals is the “night glow” or “balloon glow” event. At predetermined signals, the pilots blast the propane burners, releasing a burst of fire into the balloon. The balloons “glow” like huge fireflies or Chinese lanterns, often accompanied by fireworks … it is a truly magical sight.

Balloon Festival Night Glow

2006 Ojiya Balloon Festival, Night Glow Event | Kropsoq, via Wikimedia Commons

2018 Balloon Festivals in the USA

(calendar view)

This is a calendar of all of the USA 2018 Balloon Festivals that we have been able to confirm to date.  Of course, you should still double check their websites and social media profiles to make sure the event hasn’t been canceled. We will be updating this calendar each year, so we hope you will link to us and share! The embed code is available underneath.

2018 Biggest & Best Balloon Festivals in the USA

Embed This Calendar!

Here’s an easy embed code, just drop it into your website! You’re free to display our 2018 balloon festivals calendar on your website; however, the license we grant you requires that you properly and correctly attribute the work back to us with a link to our website by using the embed code provided below. The balloon festivals calendar will be updated each year automatically!

<div style="width: 100%; text-align: center;">
<a href="http://bit.ly/BalloonFestivals">
<img src="http://www.townandtourist.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/balloon-infographic-sm.jpg" alt="Balloon Festivals Calendar" /></a>
<a href="http://bit.ly/BalloonFestivals">Balloon Festivals Calendar</a> by <a href="http://www.townandtourist.com/">Town &amp; Tourist</a>

2018 Balloon Festivals in the USA

(list view)

Click header links to sort ascending/descending alphabetically. (You may have to click it twice.)

2018 Balloon Festivals State, City Month Day(s) Follow
Adirondack Hot Air Balloon Festival NY, Glens Falls (09) Sep 20–23rd Facebook
Alabama Jubilee Hot Air Balloon Classic AL, Decatur (05) May 26–27th Twitter
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta #BalloonFiesta NM, Albuquerque (10) Oct 6–14th Facebook Twitter
Ashland BalloonFest OH, Ashland (06) Jun 28–30th Facebook
Bluff Balloon Festival UT, Bluff (01) Jan 12–14th Facebook
Carolina BalloonFest #CarolinaBalloonFest NC, Statesville (10) Oct 19–21st Facebook Twitter
Centralia Balloon Festival IL, Centralia (08) Aug 17–19th
Chester County Balloon Festival PA, Toughkenamon (06) Jun 22–24th Facebook Twitter
Colorado River Crossing Balloon Festival AZ, Yuma (11) Nov 16–18th Facebook
Colorado Springs Labor Day Lift Off #LDLO CO, Colorado Springs (09) Sep 1–3rd Facebook
Eyes to the Sky Balloon Festival UT, Salina (06) Jun 15–17th Facebook
Field of Flight Air Show & Balloon Festival MI, Battle Creek (06) Jun/Jul 28–4th Facebook Twitter
Great Falls Balloon Festival ME, Lewiston/Auburn (08) Aug 17–19th Facebook
Great Forest Park Balloon Race* MO, Saint Louis (09) Sep 14–15th Facebook
Great Mississippi River Balloon Race MS, Natchez (10) Oct 19–21st Facebook
Great Pershing Balloon Derby MO, Brookfield (09) Sep 1–3rd Facebook
Great Prosser Balloon Rally WA, Prosser (09) Sep 28–30th
Great Reno Balloon Race #RenoBalloonRace NV, Reno (09) Sep 7–9th Facebook Twitter
Great Texas Balloon Race TX, Longview (07) Jul 27–29th
Great Wellsville Balloon Rally NY, Wellsville (07) Jul 20–22nd Facebook Twitter
Havasu Balloon Festival & Fair AZ, Lake Havasu City (01) Jan 19–21st Facebook Twitter
Helen to the Atlantic Balloon Race & Festival GA, Helen (06) Jun 1–2nd Facebook
Hot Air Jubilee MI, Jackson (07) Jul 20–22nd Facebook
Hudson Valley Hot-Air Balloon Festival NY, Poughkeepsie (07) Jul 6–8th
Kiwanis Hot Air Balloon Festival IN, Bloomington (09) Sep 7–9th
Lisle Eye To The Skies Festival IL, Lisle (06) Jun/Jul 29–1st Facebook
Macomb Balloon Rally IL, Macomb (09) Sep 7–8th Facebook
Michigan Challenge BalloonFest MI, Howell (06) Jun 22–24th Facebook Twitter
Montpelier Bean Days Balloon Festival OH, Montpelier (07) Jul 20–21st Facebook
National Balloon Classic IA, Indianola (07) Jul/Aug 27–4th Facebook
New York State Festival of Balloons NY, Dansville (08) Aug/Sep 30–3rd Facebook
Northwest Art & Air Festival OR, Albany (08) Aug 24–26th Facebook
Plano Balloon Festival #PlanoBalloon TX, Plano (09) Sep 21–23rd Facebook Twitter
Quick Chek NJ Festival of Ballooning NJ, Readington (07) Jul 27–29th Facebook Twitter
Quechee Hot Air Balloon Craft & Music Festival VT, Quechee (06) Jun 15–17th Facebook
Ravenna Balloon-A-Fair OH, Ravenna (09) Sep 15–16th
Spiedie Fest & Balloon Rally NY, Binghamton (08) Aug 3–5th Facebook
Spirit of Boise Balloon Classic ID, Boise (08) Aug/Sep 29–2nd Facebook
Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival CA, Temecula (06) Jun 1–3rd Facebook Twitter
Thurston Classic PA, Meadville (06) Jun 14–17th Facebook
University Toyota’s Balloons Over Morgantown WV, Morgantown (10) Oct TBD Facebook
US National Hot Air Balloon Championship (BFA) Varies Varies Varies
Warren County Farmers’ Fair Balloon Festival NJ, Warren Co. (07) Jul/Aug 28–4th

*Billed as the oldest and most well-attended FREE Hot-Air Balloon Event in the World.

Add/Update Your Balloon Festival!

We are always on the lookout for more balloon festivals to add to this list and we want it to be as complete and correct as possible. If you are the organizer of a balloon festival and would like to see it added to this page, or if an existing event needs a correction, please let us know by filling out the form below.

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Advertise Your Balloon Festival!

We rank in the Top 10 Google Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) for “hot air balloon festivals” and hundreds of variations of that search term, including many city searches. Whether you are the event organizer, sponsor, or a local business, you will receive laser targeted exposure and traffic for readers interested in attending your town’s hot air balloon festival.

If you are interested in advertising your balloon festival or other local business on this page for the 2018 season, please fill out this form and we will contact you with details.

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2018 Balloon Festival Tourist Tips:

  • Balloon festivals are usually free or very low cost; however, donations are generally accepted.
  • These events attract thousands of people (the Albuquerque International Balloon Festival attracts close to 80,000 a day) so expect traffic and delays getting into and out of the parking lots. Get there early – and the bigger the balloon festival, the earlier you should plan to arrive…. even as much as two hours early.
  • Dress appropriately. Remember that it is generally colder in the morning or evening and it will be even more chilly on an open field.
  • Drones are a BIG no-no. Don’t do it. Just don’t.
  • Smoking is another big no-no.
  • Bring your camera! If you share your photos on social media, be sure to use the official event hashtag … and we would love a hashtag as well so we can share your photos with our audience! Our hashtag is: #TownTourist
  • Most hot air balloon flights occur just after sunrise or just before sunset or both. In colder months or climates, you might also see hot air balloons flying in the daytime; however, you should refer to the hot air balloon festival’s schedule of events page on their website for specific times.
  • Balloon flights and activities are usually weather dependent. Ideal wind speeds are 3-5 mph and if winds increase beyond 8-10 mph, or if it is raining, it is unlikely that the balloons will be able to fly.
  • The festivals themselves usually do not schedule or book balloon rides. Many participating pilots and balloon operators book their rides independently. There is usually a list on the festival’s website so you can contact them and ask if they accept passengers. While prices vary, you should probably expect to pay $175-225 per person.
  • Beware of anyone trying to sell you gift certificates for hot air balloon companies. Always call the company directly to purchase a gift certificate.

Attention: Balloon Festival Webmasters

After two years of trying to gather the most up-to-date information about these balloon festivals, we have a little advice and best practices to share with the webmasters of the balloon festival websites listed above:

  • PLEASE update your websites immediately after your event with the dates for the following year. It is very difficult to keep this list up-to-date if we have to search the web or keep checking back. If you aren’t sure of the dates, a simple “Next Event: May 2018” put up immediately following your balloon festival would suffice.
  • PLEASE do not change your website’s URL, or if you do, please set up a redirect. Refrain from using the year or “19th annual” in your URL so you don’t have to constantly change it. Part of good search engine optimization (SEO) is attracting links … and you break them if you change your page’s website address.
  • Make it easy to keep your information current on your social media sites by saying (for example) “Always the last weekend in May”.
  • Link to your social media channels from your website.
  • Include your official hashtag on your website.

About the author

Town & Tourist

A travel resource guide that has been carefully crafted and curated by travel bloggers to help you find the best places to travel to in the USA.