Hot Air Balloon Festivals | RTX Destination Exclusives

Soar to New Heights

Every September, the Sky High Hot Air Balloon Festival at Callaway Gardens draws visitors for three days of events and entertainment centered around big, colorful hot air balloons. If you love the fascinating world of ballooning or are interested in planning a trip around a fun festival similar to this one, check out these balloon festivals in or near RTX destinations and contact a Travel Consultant to start planning your next vacation.


Carolina Balloon Festival in Statesville, N.C.

For 42 years this balloon rally, just an hour and a half from RTX destination Banner Elk, has brought together balloon pilots and their families along with hot air balloon enthusiasts and those who want to experience ballooning for the first time. Weather permitting; flights are available throughout the weekend, as are tethered balloon rides and balloon walk-throughs. In addition to the fun, colorful and exhilarating displays of ballooning, this event makes significant contributions to charities each year. In 2014, more than $82,000 was donated to local nonprofit organizations.

stock-photo-36513764-hot-air-balloon-with-lighthouseHavasu Balloon Festival and Fair in Lake Havasu City, Ariz.

In just five years, this balloon festival has grown to expect 30,000 to 50,000 attendees each January. The most memorable moments of the event often happen just before sunrise, when the pilots of more than 70 balloons inflate their craft to prepare for a day on display and flying over Lake Havasu. Once the balloons have launched, visitors can enjoy a variety of festivities like carnival games, tethered balloon rides, face painting, arts and crafts, musical and theater groups, classic cars and more. Stick around for the magical Night Glow each evening. The entire family is sure to love this fantastic event!

Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival in West Foley, Ala.

This free festival in early May showcases balloon flights in the early morning and at dusk, with plenty of family fun all day in between. After the 6 a.m. morning flight is complete, festival attendees can enjoy food, music, inflatables, face painting, Frisbee dog shows and much more. There’s also an interactive balloon display where children can walk and play inside of a horizontally inflated balloon. In the evenings, tethered balloon rides are available for adults and kids.

stock-photo-9931941-eye-of-the-tigerNew Smyrna Beach Balloon & Sky Fest and Kissimmee’s Blue Skies Balloon Festival

Central Florida seems like a natural setting for a colorful festival and fun in the sky, and these two events are proof. The New Smyrna Beach Balloon & Sky Fest in mid-April features day and night air shows, music and entertainment, live animals, a carnival, interactive exhibits, airplane and helicopter rides, aircraft displays and dozens of vendors. Inland from this coastal event, the Blue Skies Balloon Festival in Kissimmee is really three events in one – a balloon festival with early morning flights and evening balloon glows, the Endless Summer Songwriters Festival with talented live musicians and the Silver Spurs Rodeo, a Kissimmee favorite since the 1940s.

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