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.
Great Forest Park Balloon Race - Forest Park, MO - Sep 16 to Sep 17, 2016
44th annual event. The oldest and most well-attended FREE Hot-Air Balloon Event in the World.
Balloons Over Anderson - Anderson, SC - Oct 7 to Oct 9, 2016
New York State Festival of Balloons - Dansville, NY - Aug 31 to Sep 4, 2017
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.
Arkansas Hot Air Balloon State Championship - Harrison, AR - Sep 8 to Sep 10, 2017
A balloon race competition with tethered rides, kids fest and more family friendly fun.
Snowmass Balloon Festival - Snowmass Village, CO - Sep 8 to Sep 10, 2017
One of the highest altitude balloon events in the country, with more than 30 pilots competing in challenges.
Kiwanis Club Hot Air Balloon Festival - Bloomington, IN - Sep 8 to Sep 10, 2017
4th annual event.
Great Reno Balloon Race - Reno, NV - Sep 8 to Sep 10, 2017
Olympia contests and fitness festival for everyone. One of the best fitness events in the country. Lots of celebrities attend this event.
Colorfest Balloon Rally - Pagosa Springs, CO - Sep 15 to Sep 17, 2017
Duluth Balloon Festival - Duluth, MN - Sep 15 to Sep 17, 2017
Tethered balloon rides (free), craft brew village, helicopter rides.
Plano Balloon Festival - Plano, TX - Sep 22 to Sep 24, 2017
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.
Quad Cities Balloon Fest - Moline, IL - Sep 22 to Sep 23, 2017
Hot air balloon festival at Rock Island County Fairgrounds. Admission is FREE – in lieu of admission they ask for a donation of non-perishable food items to support the River Bend Foodbank.
Louisiana Hot Air Balloon Championship Festival - Gonzales, LA - Sep 22 to Sep 23, 2017
A combination of hot air balloons, music, food and entertainment at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center. Admission is $2 for adults, free for kids 12 and under.
Touchstone Energy Balloon Fest - Lake Shelbyville, IL - Oct 6 to Oct 8, 2017
Columbus Day Festival Hot Air Balloon Regatta - Columbus, KS - Oct 6 to Oct 8, 2017
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.
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta - Albuquerque, NM - Oct 7 to Oct 15, 2017
Hot air balloon launches, live music, flying competition, car show and more.
Great Mississippi River Balloon Race - Natchez, MS - Oct 20 to Oct 22, 2017
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.
Carolina Balloon Fest - Statesville, NC - Oct 20 to Oct 22, 2017
Watch 50 hot air balloons. Tethered balloon rides are $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.
Poteau Balloon Fest - Poteau, OK - Oct 20 to Oct 21, 2017
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.
Harvest Balloon Festival - Flowery Branch, GA - Oct 21 to Oct 21, 2017
Taos Mountain Balloon Rally - Taos, NM - Oct 27 to Oct 29, 2017
A weekend of hot air balloons amid the fall colors in New Mexico. 33rd annual event. Typically hosts 35-50 balloons and crews.