Festivals & Events

Hot Air Balloon Festivals USA (2019 Calendar)

Colorado Springs Hot Air Balloon Competition
Written by Town & Tourist

2019 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 2019 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 2019 balloon festival season ends. But first check out our Top 10 Balloon Festivals in the U.S.A for Inspiration!


Top 10 Balloon Festivals in the U.S.A:

1.  2019 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. Check out this terrific article on 20 Golden Reasons – Why Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta SHOULD be on your Bucket list.

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

Insider Tip:

Take a Bucket list Hot Air Ballon Ride in New Mexico, when the festival isn’t on! This is alot cheaper but still an amazing experience:

For more info our tours click the link HERE

2. Quick Chek Balloon Festival NJ 

The QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning is the largest summertime hot air balloon and music festival in North America!  

It is a premiere family entertainment attraction in New Jersey. With twice a day mass ascensions of up to 100 special shape and sport hot air balloons, to headlining music concerts and non-stop family entertainment.

For sheer variety of activities this is definitely one of the best!  With hundreds of crafters and vendors, great food, a spectacular fireworks show and evening balloon glow this festival is jam-packed!

QuickChek Balloon Fiesta

QuickChek Balloon Fiesta

They even have Sunrise yoga, Pilates Classes and the famous running with the balloons 5k! This is an award winning festival, having won: 

  • The New Jersey Governor’s Award for Best Special Event.
  • A Top 100 Festival in North America by the American Bus Association. (6 times in a row!)

While Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta is sponsored by “Canon” Photography New Jerseys Quick Check has a guy named Dave fired out of a Cannon!

David “The Bullet” Smith holds the Guinness World records for height and distance traveled while being shot out of a cannon Photo by: QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning.

When is the Festival?

This year the event is held between: JULY 26-28 2019

Where is the Festival?

QuickCheck Balloon festival is  held annually at Solberg Airport in Readington, New Jersey, U.S.A

3. Great Reno Balloon Race – [Nevada]

The Great Reno Balloon Race came from humble beginning in 1982 with just 20 balloons, now showcasing 115 balloons and attracting an average of 120,000 spectators each year.

This makes the great Reno balloon race, the largest free hot air ballooning event in the entire world! 

The Dawn Patrol is a classic event, but make sure your up before sunrise to catch it! Several balloons head into the dark morning sky to check the weather conditions and signal the start after the festival .

After the great “Mass Ascension” begins from Rancho San Rafael Park.During three daysevent you will see the Reno skies filled with a colorful rainbow of hot air balloons.

Great Reno Hot Air Balloon Race. Photo by https://renoballoon.com/

Fun Fact: The original event was started as a way to keep visitors in town during the weekend between the State Fair and the Reno Air Races.

These days enthusiasts travel from far and wide to attend the event making it a massive part of the community.

When is the Festival?

Annually in Early September. This year it is scheduled for: September 6-8 2019.

Where is the Festival?

Rancho San Rafael Park, Reno, Nevada, United States ,89510  . For more info see: renoballoon

4. Freedom Aloft Weekend – [Carolina]

If you fancy some excitement next Memorial Day weekend head down to South Carolina you won’t be disappointed.

Expect to see hundreds of balloons and a great live music event all rolled into one. Past performances by Trace Adkins, David Lee Roth, and The Doobie Brothers, have attracted many to this event. 

Freedom Aloft Balloon Festival, Hot Air Balloon Rides. Photo by: backroadramblers.com

For the kids there is a popular “kids zone” packed with amusement rides and activities. For adults there is a classic vintage car show. 

There is even a Frisbee Dog contest, for the pets!

This event is produced all in good spirits and helps to raise money for local and regional charities. So you can sleep good at night after the excitements over.

When is the Event?

Annually in May.

Where is the Event?

South Carolina, U.S.A. For more info see, the official site. Freedom weekend

5. Colorado Springs Labor Day Lift Off 

The perfect start to a Labor Day weekend, watch more than 70 hot air ballon glide over Memorial Park. Started over 40 years ago,  Colorado Springs Labor Day Lift Off offers a large variety of events and entertainment, From a skilled chainsaw carving contest to doughnut eating championship!  

For those aeronautic enthusiasts out there spot the adrenaline packed sky divings demos!

Colorado Springs Hot Air Balloon Competition

By DarlArthurS (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

When is the Festival?

 Labor Day weekend

Where is the Festival?

Colorado Springs, Colorado, U.S.A

6. Teton Valley Balloon Rally -[U.S.A] 

Independence Day special, head down to Idaho, U.S.A. Make your way to the picturesque setting of Teton Valley, sit back relax and watch the sky be filled with a colorful shower of balloons.  

The Teton Valley Balloon Rally is a non-profit organization, committed to keeping the magic of ballooning alive in the years to come.

Captivating Dawn Patrol Balloons

The traditional event, now in it’s 39th year, features several mornings of group hot air balloon launches from the Teton County Fairgrounds in Driggs.

During the four-day Teton Valley Balloon Rally, event as a visitor expect to attend a classic down-home parade, dance along to the tunes of a fiddling contest! 

If your after a raw all-American experience, then head down to here. See the lush green fields and spikey peaks of the area as you float over in a balloon.

When is the Festival?

The 4th July (weekend)

Where is the Festival?

Teton Valley, Idaho, U.S.A. For more info see: Teton Valley Balloon Rally,

7. Sonoma County Hot Air Balloon Classic, CA

The event is typically held on a Saturday and Sunday, and both days get going early – really early! At 5 a.m., when the pre-dawn morning is clinging to its last bit of darkness, a few brightly-lit balloons will rise majestically into the air.

Within moments, almost as if the balloons made it  happen, the first hints of sunlight will begin to color the landscape.

Save the Panda! At Sonoma County Hot Air Balloon Classic
Photo by: sonomacounty.com

And while the colorful balloons drift hither and yon above, you can enjoy live music, chomping on tasty breakfast food, snatching up event souvenirs, checking out the work of local craftspeople, and watching the children have fun in the Kids PlayLand.

When is the Festival?

Annually in Mid-June

Where is the Festival?

Windsor, California, U.S.A

8. Temecula Valley Balloon/Wine Festival, CA

Wine and ballooning? Yes its great if your a passenger! There is no better place then Temecula valley, sample the local wines soak up the lush southern California weather and enjoy a whole host of ballooning fun! 

For the kids, the TVBWF includes rides, inflatables, pony rides, face painting and even a petting zoo!  Kid-friendly food like hot dogs, pizza and ice cream will be available for hungry little ones.

A Fun packed Family Event! At Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival in California.

A Fun packed Family Event! At Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival in California.

When is the Festival?

Third week of May

Where is the Festival?

Lake Skinner Recreation Area, Southern California Temecula Valley, California, U.S.A. For more info see. tvbwf.

9. National Balloon Classic – [Iowa]

100+ colorful hot air balloons + 9 Days of an Iowa Summer! = One hell of an event!  Watch as the canvas of the Iowa sky is filled with a colorful fleet of eclectic shapes.

National Balloon Classic: Indiana, Iowa

National Balloon Classic: Indiana, Iowa

National Balloon Classic: Indiana, Iow Photo by: desmoinesparent.com

This family fun and friendly event has a kid land to keep the little ones entertained and live music to give a great atmosphere to the entire event.  Check out there great Dawn Patrols and evening Glows.

Other great shows include skydiving and even a pilots competition!  Watch as the skilled pilots compete for points and prizes every morning and every evening while dazzling guests below.

When is the Festival?

Late July – Early August

Where is the Festival?

Memorial Balloon Field, Iowa, Indiana, U.S.A

10. Havasu Balloon Festival and Fair – [AR]

This is a jam packed event with a mass ascension and tethered balloon rides to start. When thats over head to the “Walk in” Balloon to get a feel of what it’s like to be inside vast material.

Look over head and you will see captivating Air shows in the Skys above.  For kids, Carnival rides, creative balloons and a fire service display is set to keep them entertained. If your a car enthusiasts there is even an impressive classic car show. 

After a fun and busy day relax in the evening and watch the luminous balloon glow show.

Havasu Balloon Festival


Havasu Balloon Festival is great for water activities, such as Boating! Photo by:
havasuballoonfest.com (8p)

Havasu Balloon Festival is great for water activities, such as Boating! Photo by: havasuballoonfest.com

When is the Festival?

Mid January

Jan 9th -12th 2020.

Where is the Festival?

Lake Havasu City, Arizona, U.S.A

Fancy a Champagne Hot Air Balloon ride over Vegas? 

Check out this Bucket list adventure by following the link HERE

Want a great Balloon Ride over Orlando?

Check out this Epic trip by following the link HERE


2019 Balloon Festivals in the USA

This is a calendar of all of the USA 2019 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 at the bottom of the page.

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

2019 Balloon Festivals State, City Month Day(s) Follow
Adirondack Hot Air Balloon Festival NY, Glens Falls (09) Sep 12–22nd Facebook
Alabama Jubilee Hot Air Balloon Classic AL, Decatur (05) May 23–24th Twitter
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta #BalloonFiesta NM, Albuquerque (10) Oct   5–13th Facebook Twitter
Ashland BalloonFest OH, Ashland (06) Jun 27–29th Facebook
Bluff Balloon Festival UT, Bluff (01) Jan 18–20th Facebook
Carolina BalloonFest #CarolinaBalloonFest NC, Statesville (10) Oct 19–21st Facebook Twitter
Centralia Balloon Festival IL, Centralia (08) Aug 18–20th
Chester County Balloon Festival PA, Toughkenamon (06) Jun 21–23rd Facebook Twitter
Colorado River Crossing Balloon Festival AZ, Yuma (11) Nov 15–17th Facebook
Colorado Springs Labor Day Lift Off #LDLO CO, Colorado Springs (08) Aug/Sep 31–2nd Facebook
Eyes to the Sky Balloon Festival UT, Salina (06) Jun 21–23rd Facebook
Field of Flight Air Show & Balloon Festival MI, Battle Creek (07) Jul 3–7th Facebook Twitter
Great Falls Balloon Festival ME, Lewiston/Auburn (08) Aug 16–18th Facebook
Great Forest Park Balloon Race* MO, Saint Louis (09) Sep 20–21st Facebook
Great Mississippi River Balloon Race MS, Natchez (10) Oct 18–20th Facebook
Great Pershing Balloon Derby MO, Brookfield (08) Aug/Sep 31–2nd Facebook
Great Prosser Balloon Rally WA, Prosser (09) Sep 27–29th
Great Reno Balloon Race #RenoBalloonRace NV, Reno (09) Sep 6–8th Facebook Twitter
Great Texas Balloon Race TX, Longview (07) Jul 26–28th
Great Wellsville Balloon Rally NY, Wellsville (07) Jul 19–21st Facebook Twitter
Havasu Balloon Festival & Fair AZ, Lake Havasu City (01) Jan 10–13th Facebook Twitter
Helen to the Atlantic Balloon Race & Festival GA, Helen (05) May/Jun 30–1st Facebook
Hot Air Jubilee MI, Jackson (07) Jul 18–21st Facebook
Hudson Valley Hot-Air Balloon Festival NY, Poughkeepsie (07) Jul 12–14th
Kiwanis Hot Air Balloon Festival IN, Bloomington (09) Sep 6–8th
Lakeside of the Smokies TN, White Pine (10) Oct 26–27th Facebook
Lisle Eye To The Skies Festival IL, Lisle (07) Jul 4–6th Facebook
Macomb Balloon Rally IL, Macomb (09) Sep 6–7th Facebook
Michigan Challenge BalloonFest MI, Howell (06) Jun 28–30th Facebook Twitter
Montpelier Bean Days Balloon Festival OH, Montpelier (07) Jul 19–20th Facebook
National Balloon Classic IA, Indianola (07) Jul/Aug 26–3rd Facebook
New York State Festival of Balloons NY, Dansville (08) Aug/Sep 29–2nd Facebook
Northwest Art & Air Festival OR, Albany (08) Aug 23–24th Facebook
Plano Balloon Festival #PlanoBalloon TX, Plano (09) Sep 20–22nd Facebook Twitter
Quick Chek NJ Festival of Ballooning NJ, Readington (07) Jul 26–28th Facebook Twitter
Quechee Hot Air Balloon Craft & Music Festival VT, Quechee (06) Jun 14–16th Facebook
Ravenna Balloon-A-Fair OH, Ravenna (09) Sep 21–22nd
Spiedie Fest & Balloon Rally NY, Binghamton (08) Aug 2–4th Facebook
Spirit of Boise Balloon Classic ID, Boise (08) Aug/Sep 28–1st Facebook
Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival CA, Temecula (05) May/Jun 31–2nd Facebook Twitter
Thurston Classic PA, Meadville (06) Jun 13–16th 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 27–3rd

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


2019 Balloon Festival 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.
  • 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.

 

  • Beware of anyone trying to sell you gift certificates for hot air balloon companies. Always call the company directly to purchase a gift certificate.

Hot Air Balloon Ride over the Grand Canyon? Check out this inspiring Article. 5 Golden Reasons – Why you should take a Hot Air Balloon Ride over the Grand Canyon.

Canyon Balloon Rides, Photo by: Jennifer C, Helena, MT)

Fancy an Exotic International Balloon Ride?

One place exceptional place is Cappadocia, Turkey. It’s a true wonderland and Magical Experience…very different to anything in the U.S.

Cappadocia Balloon Experience – [Turkey]

Originally forged by a volcanic eruption, Cappadocia is beauty which is risen from the ashes like a phoenix! Although not technical a festival, this one definitely deserves to be high on our list. 

Cappadocia is a bucket list experience dreams are made of! Recently, the popularity of this area has exploded due to wonderful instagrammable images popping up showing the true magic of this rocky natural wonder.

hot-air-balloon-tours-

hot-air-balloon-tours-

Get lost in the areas vast network of tunnels and historic streets. From the air to true spectacular landscape if breath taking with ethereal “fairytale chimneys”, where the spikey limestone spires can be seen rising up.

Now a  World Heritage site, Cappadocia’s is like a fine wine, aged, rich and full of flavour!

Where?

Cappadocia Region, Central Turkey.

How to get there?

A great option is to fly to Nevsehir (NAV) airport then take a 45 min cab ride to the Cappadocia. We found this the easiest when flying from the U.S.A. Alternative options are too try and Fly direct to Cappadocia. There are two main airports that you can use to reach Cappadocia.

  • Kayseri Erkilet Airport (ASR) located in Kayseri and nearly one hour drive to the center of Cappadocia region.
  •  Turkish Airlines operates several direct (nonstop) flights from Istanbul Atatürk Airport (IST) to Kayseri Erkilet Airport.

This is hands down one of the best places to float by on a hot air balloon, popular with engagements and even weddings! Our advice would be book tickets for a hot air balloon ride as soon as possible, before Turkeys Majestic Secret is out!

How much does a Balloon Ride cost at Cappadocia?

The cost of a hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia is Between 150 euros -180 Euro, or ($170 – $200). 

This is usually a per person rate for approximately one hour.Group bookings can be a lower price depending upon size. Prices have seen an increase in recent years due to Cappadocia’s explosion in popularity!

How long should I stay in Cappadocia?

3 days or more in Cappadocia is a great amount of time. Three days allows you to see all of the big sites, do some hiking, check out the deep caves, and of course go on a hot air balloon ride.

Top Tip:

Due to weather dependency of hot air balloon rides it’s great to book one in for the first day of your trip, then you can always reschedule if the weather is bad. 

Here are some of our favourite Balloon rides in Cappadocia, they offer everything from Romantic trips, to ones for solo adventurers, groups and even plane rides from Istanbul! Here we offer a hand picked selection of the finest hot air balloon rides based on the following Criteria:

  • Best Price
  • Best Experience
  • Most Scenic Views
  • Safety!

The Rides below have the most reliable safety record and best reviews, (backed by Viator tour) . So check them out and choose your date, the best ones tend to sell out fast these days. 

For our Recommended Hot Air Balloon Rides in Cappadocia follow the link HERE

Fancy an Exotic International Balloon Fiesta?

Check out our top International Balloon Festivals, From Italy, France to Japan and even the Philippines!

30 Most Extravagant Hot Air Balloon Festivals in the World!

The Awe-inspiring, Mondial Hot Air Balloon Festival Photo by: Pool Demnage via Getty Images

Attention Website Owners:

Here’s an easy embed code, just drop it into your website! You’re free to display our 2019 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="https://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="https://www.townandtourist.com/">Town &amp; Tourist</a>
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