As a child growing up in Michigan, I loved to see the sight of a hot air balloon illuminated by the sunset as my family enjoyed the view of fall foliage from the ground. It seems that I am not alone. Fall is a popular time for hot air balloon enthusiasts to get together at festivals and launch their hot air balloons. You too can enjoy the sight of these beautiful inventions that have been dotting the sky since the first flight in the 1780s in France.
Louisiana Hot Air Balloon Championship Festival - Gonzales, LA - Sep 27 to Sep 29, 2019
A combination of hot air balloons, music, food and entertainment at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center.
Harvest Balloon Festival - Flowery Branch, GA - Oct 5 to Oct 5, 2019
Festival includes carnival rides, kids games, pumpkin painting, music, food, and more, plus of course hot air balloons! Proceeds go towards local organizations, such as the Hall County Animal Shelter and Family Promise of Hall County.
Carolina Balloon Fest - Statesville, NC - Oct 16 to Oct 18, 2020
Canceled for 2021, look for their return in 2022. Normally: Watch 50 hot air balloons rise to the skies! Enjoy tethered balloon rides for $5-10 – proceeds from the event benefit local nonprofits. Live music entertainment on 2 stages, plus a kids’ zone, artisan marketplace, 5k run, wine and beer tasting and more.
Arkansas Hot Air Balloon State Championship - Harrison, AR - Sep 17 to Sep 19, 2021
A balloon race competition with tethered rides, kids fest and more family friendly fun. Check the schedule for all venues but most of the action takes place at Boone County Regional Airport.
Colorfest Balloon Festival - Pagosa Springs, CO - Sep 17 to Sep 19, 2021
Durango has a lot of fun planned during the weekend of this balloon festival, including a Wine & Food Festival on Friday (21+), and Bands & Brews Festival on Saturday! Mass balloon ascensions will take place both Saturday and Sunday morning, meaning the fun and festivities roll on all weekend! 5k Color Run on Sunday morning. Brews and Balloon festivals feature events for all ages, check out the Pagosa Chamber page for more info and ticketing availability!
Duluth Oktoberfestival - Duluth, MN - Sep 17 to Sep 19, 2021
Das Zelt (tent) with beer and food, arts & crafts, children’s activities and more!
Great Forest Park Balloon Race - St Louis, MO - Sep 17 to Sep 18, 2021
The oldest and most well-attended FREE Hot-Air Balloon Event in the World. Since 1973.
Autumn Aloft - Park City, UT - Sep 18 to Sep 19, 2021
Balloon launches from behind Treasure Mountain Middle School, with a Saturday evening event on Main Street in Park City.
Plano Balloon Festival - Plano, TX - Sep 19 to Sep 19, 2021
Event takes place at Oak Point Park. 45 hot air balloons, sky divers, live music, fireworks, and kids fun zone. Tethered balloon rides available for $15-20 per person. 1/2 Marathon, 5K and 1K runs. General admission is $5. Parking is $5-10.
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta - Albuquerque, NM - Oct 2 to Oct 10, 2021
Hot air balloon launches, live music, flying competition, car show and more. Since 1972.
Columbus Day Festival Hot Air Balloon Regatta - Columbus, KS - Oct 8 to Oct 10, 2021
Lots of events on the schedule here in addition to the colorful hot air balloons. BBQ cookoff, scarecrow contest, pancake breakfast, 5K, petting zoo, parade, car & motorcycle show, tractor pull, children’s corner, petting zoo, inflatables and more. Visit downtown Columbus to join in all the fun!
Great Mississippi River Balloon Race - Natchez, MS - Oct 15 to Oct 17, 2021
Held at Rosalie Bicentennial Gardens, it features a carnival section with rides, games, and fun for all ages. Enjoy plenty of food. Local sports bars host college football on Saturday and the Saints football on Sunday. Also the exciting Balloon Race plus live music all weekend.
Poteau Balloon Fest - Poteau, OK - Oct 15 to Oct 16, 2021
Held on the LeFlore County Fair Grounds. Carnival rides, tethered balloon rides, helicopter rides and monster truck rides. Pageant, pet contest, mud race and mud tug of war. Free parking.
Animas Valley Balloon Rally - Durango, CO - Oct 15 to Oct 17, 2021
Take in Colorado’s stunning fall colors from above at the Animas Valley Balloon Rally. This family-friendly event features morning mass ascensions and nighttime balloon glows.
Taos Mountain Balloon Rally - Taos, NM - Oct 29 to Oct 31, 2021
A weekend of hot air balloons amid the fall colors in New Mexico. Typically hosts 35-50 balloons and crews.
Quad Cities Balloon Fest - Moline, IL - Aug 12 to Aug 13, 2022
Hot air balloon festival at Rock Island County Fairgrounds. In lieu of admission they ask for a donation of non-perishable food items to support the River Bend Foodbank.
Fall River Hot Air Balloon Festival - Hot Springs, SD - Aug 26 to Aug 28, 2022
Annual hot air balloon with sunrise and skydiving options
Spirit of Boise - Boise, ID - Aug 31 to Sep 4, 2022
Family friendly event to watch the hot air balloons launch. Held at Ann Morrison Park. Free admission. Founded in 1991.
New York State Festival of Balloons - Dansville, NY - Sep 2 to Sep 4, 2022
Over 35,000 attend this festival starting with the free balloon GLOW on Thursday night. Festival has six scheduled balloon launches, international food court, free entertainment, rides and amusements, car show, and craft vendors.
Kiwanis Club Hot Air Balloon Festival - Bloomington, IN - Sep 8 to Sep 10, 2022
Hot air balloon
Great Reno Balloon Race - Reno, NV - Sep 9 to Sep 11, 2022
One of the largest free hot-air ballooning event in the world, with almost 100 balloons and 120,000 spectators each year.
Snowmass Balloon Festival - Snowmass Village, CO - Sep 16 to Sep 18, 2022
One of the highest altitude balloon events in the country, with more than 30 pilots competing in challenges.