Hot Air Balloon Festivals in the United States for 2018

With action-packed schedules featuring ballooning competitions, recreational balloon rides, night glows, and events on the ground like food, music, and kids’ activities, it’s no surprise that hot air balloon festivals are such popular events. Like many people, you might be inspired to attend a fall balloon festival after going on hot air balloon Vegas rides. Or maybe you want an excuse to see other parts of the country! Either way, here is an exciting lineup of US balloon festivals to check out.

October 06 – October 14, 2018
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

With over 1,000 pilots and balloons coming annually to compete and just fly for fun, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, NM is the world’s largest ballooning event. It’s come a long way since its humble beginnings in 1972, when just 13 balloonists convened for a day of friendly competition. Along with competitive flights, this Fiesta has special balloon events like mass ascensions and night glows.

October 17 – October 21, 2018
Walla Walla Balloon Stampede

Each year, about 40 balloons gather in Walla Walla, Washington for this popular annual balloon festival. The event began in the mid-1970s, and it’s had a loyal following of balloonists and event attendees since then. Along with watching colorful balloons fill the sky, this festival is a great opportunity to see the stunning beauty of Walla Walla and sample some fantastic local wines.

October 19 – October 21, 2018
The Great Mississippi River Balloon Race

With a picturesque backdrop of the Mississippi River, this balloon festival in Natchez, MS is not to be missed. About 100 balloonists come to this annual event for a competitive race. There’s also plenty of entertainment on the ground with live music, cooking contests, and a sports tent that broadcasts important games. This event also has plenty of kids’ events and delicious local foods.

October 19 – October 21, 2018
Carolina Balloon Fest

Another can’t-miss balloon festival is the Carolina Balloon Fest in Statesville, NC. This event started in 1974, and it brings in about 50 balloonists each year. With stunning fall foliage as a backdrop, there’s virtually no better place to watch dozens of colorful balloons take off twice daily. Entertainment and family activities create a fun-filled weekend for all.

October 26 – October 28, 2018
Taos Mountain Balloon Rally

Located in Taos, NM, the Taos Mountain Balloon Rally is a fun-filled event that attracts amateur and seasoned balloonists alike. About 50 balloonists convene for the rally each year. Along with competitive flights, where professional balloonists compete for prizes, there are daily mass ascensions, dawn patrols, and tethered balloon rides for the kids.

November 01 – November 04, 2018
Lake Powell Balloon Regatta

Perhaps after going for Las Vegas balloon rides, you’re inspired to attend a ballooning event in the Southwest this fall. The Lake Powell Balloon Regatta, located in Page, AZ, is a perfect chance to do just that. The Regatta takes place during the first weekend of November, and it brings in about 60 balloonists. On the ground, there’s a wonderful vendor fair featuring beautiful artisan goods and delicious food. Balloon rides for the family completes the weekend’s events.

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