How To Photography Hot Air Balloon Festival

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Have you ever been to a hot air airship festival? In that location’south something magical nearly watching dozens of colorful numberless of air defying gravity in a beautiful spot. Don’t you lot agree? If you’ve never experienced a sunrise ascension or basked in the festive light of a airship glow, information technology’south fourth dimension to brand 2022 the twelvemonth to exercise it.

There are hundreds of hot air balloon festivals across the United States, and no affair where yous live, at that place’s a good gamble that in that location’south a balloon festival near you.

The main attraction, of course, is the collection of giant colorful balloons rising into the heaven, but hot air balloon festivals commonly feature their own eclectic mix of local highlights, from live music and carnival-style booths to arts and crafts and nutrient trucks.

Hot air balloon festivals provide so many photo opportunities!

I’ve got a thing for hot air balloon festivals, which is kind of funny because not many people are more than agape of heights than I am. I get mesmerized by the sight of giant balloons dancing beyond a magical landscape, just I have never actually been up in a hot air balloon. Please don’t concord that against me – I try to visit at least 1 hot air balloon festival near me every summer, and this year I’m hoping to check out more than 1.

Considering there are hundreds of hot air airship festivals that I haven’t been to, I accept worked with other airship festival lovers to feature the very best hot air balloon festivals in America.

hot air balloon photography abstract

Hot Air Balloon Festivals are family-friendly events that often take something for everyone. If you’re an early bird (like me), you lot can wake at the crack of dawn for a spectacular sunrise launch. If yous’re a night owl, check out the glowing balloons fix nether the lights of a 1000000 stars.

My favorite part about hot air balloon festivals is the way that each effect highlights the unique natural environment where it’s held. No two hot air airship festivals are alike, just they all characteristic cute, flying works of art, passionate pilots, and lovers of history, culture, and the outdoors.

America’south Best Hot Air Balloon Festivals

Want to get in on the action? The post-obit hot air balloon festivals are some of the coolest events in the United states of america. Our list of best hot air balloon festivals has been updated for 2022.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta: The Largest Hot Air Balloon Festival in America

Albuquerque, New United mexican states: Early October

2022 Update:
The 50th Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta will take place from
October 1-9, 2022

The Alburquerque International Balloon Festival from the ground. Photo credit: Nina of Wheelingit
The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta/ photo credit: Nina of Wheelingit

Equally far as hot air balloon festivals in the USA get, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is
the large one. It’south a pilgrimage for balloon lovers from all over the globe, who brand the trip each October to feel one of the most amazing sites on earth. Hundreds of balloons, millions of people, and one of the world’s most beautiful landscapes. What could exist better?

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is the largest international result in the Us and takes place over 10 days. The field launch at Balloon Fiesta Park is 78 acres, and the events include morning laser shows and mass ascensions, fireworks, car shows, alive music, and kids’ activities. If I only get to one hot air balloon festival in my lifetime, this is the ane I hope to visit.

As Nina of the weblog, Wheelingit, writes – “It’s a bucket list item folks, and it’s one EVERYONE should exercise at to the lowest degree once.” Read Nina’southward
outset impressions of the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, and you lot will simply not be able to resist heading out to New United mexican states this autumn. For specific event information and to buy tickets, visit the
official Balloon Fiesta website.

Where to Stay for the Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque:
If yous’re looking for a unique Albuquerque holding while in boondocks for the Balloon Fiesta, check out
Nativo Lodge.  Non only is it conveniently located virtually Balloon Fiesta Park and other Albuquerque attractions, but it was also named the “Artsiest Hotel in the USA for 2022.” The rooms feature art from local Native American artists and in that location is an indoor-outdoor puddle for families to relish.

Teton Valley Balloon Rally: A 4-Twenty-four hours Balloon Festival Against a Stunning Backdrop

Driggs, Idaho: Early July

2022 Update: Stay tuned! The Teton Valley Balloon Rally 2022 dates have non been announced yet.

Teton Balloon FEstival in Driggs, Idaho
Balloon reflection in the pond at the Teton Balloon Festival in Driggs, Idaho with Tetons in the background

I can’t think of many places I’d rather be in July than the Tetons. This unique four-day balloon festival features hot air balloons, of course, but likewise a fiddling contest, an Independence Day parade, and public balloon rides. The jagged peaks of the Tetons brand quite a backdrop for this spectacular festival.

Lynna, of Art Meets Adventure, wrote near her ballooning adventures in the Tetons, back when the festival was known equally the
Teton Valley Summer Festival.
The event has grown since so, but it’s still quite a magical experience.

Desire to learn more? Cheque out the
Teton Valley Balloon Rally website.

Where to Stay for the Teton Valley Balloon Rally:  Here’s something fun to practise: Army camp right on the Teton Valley Balloon Field! There’due south room for RVs and a special vehicle-complimentary spot only for tent campers. Every bit for lodging, cheque out
Teton Valley Cabins
in Driggs. They are dog-friendly, include outdoor hot tubs, and are shut to hiking, angling, and other outdoor adventures.

New Bailiwick of jersey Lottery Festival of Ballooning: New Jersey’s Largest Festival

Readington, New Jersey: Tardily July

2022 Update: The 39th New Jersey Lottery Festival of Ballooning will be held from July 29–31, 2022

quick check balloon festival new jersey
Quick Chek Festival of Ballooning/photo credit: The Bailiwick of jersey Momma

Designated every bit 1 of the top 100 festivals in North America, the New Jersey Lottery Festival of Ballooning has been taking to the skies for the past 38 years (it used to be known as Quick Chek Festival of Ballooning).

This is the biggest event of the twelvemonth in New Bailiwick of jersey, with more than 100 balloons, big-proper name entertainment, craft and food vendors, fireworks, and more. The New Bailiwick of jersey Lottery Festival of Ballooning attracts more than 165,000 visitors annually, so if you think this might be the hot air balloon festival for you, be sure to become your
tickets early.

The Jersey Momma covers
everything you need to know nigh this New Jersey Airship Festival
in an crawly write-upwardly, including where to park, what to come across, where to eat, and how to maneuver through the throngs of cars and people. This would definitely be my top choice for an e coast balloon festival.

Where to Stay near the New Jersey Lottery Festival of Ballooning:
If you are traveling to the balloon festival with your family, cheque out
TownePlace Suites Bridgewater Branchburg,
which is run by Marriott and but a few miles from the balloon launch. Every room is suite-style so you lot’ve got space to spread out. There’s a full kitchen or a kitchenette in each room, plus the hotel offers gratis breakfast in the anteroom.

National Airship Classic: A Midwestern Icon for More than 40 Years

Indianola, Iowa: Belatedly July or Early on Baronial

2022 Update:
The National Balloon Classic will be held from July 29-August vi, 2022

A field full of hot air balloons at the National Balloon Classic in Indianola
National Balloon Classic in Indianola/ photograph credit: Jason Machina

National Balloon Classic
has been around for over 40 years and takes place over 9 spectacular days. This is ane of the largest and longest-running hot air balloon festivals in the Midwest. More than than 100 balloons paint the sky with their vibrant shapes and colors, and the National Balloon Classic also features pilot competitions, an off-road 5K, skydiving demonstrations, dawn patrols, and dark glow extravaganzas.

Live music and incredible vendors keep things lively, and the nearby
Warren County Fair
(besides on for 2022) takes place during the aforementioned time period.

Where to Stay for the National Airship Archetype:
Country Inn & Suites
is located right in Indianola and just xviii miles from Des Moines. Exist certain to visit the
National Balloon Museum
while you’re in town!

Colorado Springs Labor Twenty-four hour period Elevator Off: 70+ Balloons in the Rocky Mountains

Colorado Springs, Colorado: Late August – Early September

2022 Update: Labor Day Lift Off will take place over Labor 24-hour interval weekend in 2022

A hot air balloon takes to the sky as part of the Labor Day Lift Off in Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs Labor Day Lift Off/ photo credit: Cathy Andersen

Need another excuse to celebrate Labor Day? Head to Colorado Springs for the Colorado Springs
Labor Day Lift Off
in the heart of the Rocky Mountains.

Compared to some of the other festivals on this list, the Colorado hot air balloon festival is on the minor side, just it is 1 of the longest-running festivals in the area. The unique draw hither is the scenery — the rugged Rocky Mountains are a fabulous properties for the seventy+ balloons, plus yous tin can beat out the oestrus in gorgeous Prospect Lake, where you’ll detect wakeboarding exhibitions and paddleboarding.

Want to wake upwardly early for the beautiful mass ascent in the mountains? Read Anna’south post on
Come up Bring together My Journey, and be certain to explore the city while you’re in the area.

Where to Stay for Labor 24-hour interval Elevator Off in Colorado Springs:
Traveling with kiddos? Head to
Great Wolf Lodge in Colorado Springs,
with its indoor water park, mini-golf game, game room, and family unit-friendly restaurant. It’s sure to make your balloon festival weekend a huge success.

The Great Reno Balloon Race: A Free Hot Air Balloon Festival in the Southwest

Reno, Nevada: Early September

2022 Update: The 41st Groovy Reno Balloon Race will have place from September nine-11 this year

Several hot air balloons shaped like bumble bees in the sky during the Great Reno Balloon Race.
The Bully Reno Airship Race/ photo credit: Lita of Lita’s Earth

This entirely free hot air ballooning effect is the largest free hot air balloon festival in the The states. More than than 100 balloons compete each year, and each
Corking Reno Airship Race
attracts more than 140,000 visitors.

Highlights include the Balloon Blackjack competition, 5 a.m. glow shows, tethered rides, and a launch of more than ii,000 tissue-paper balloon models. The Balloon Race has won several awards over the years including
‘All-time Special Event in Reno’
‘Best Special Consequence in Northern Nevada.’

Lita’south Earth
has a smashing write-upwardly about the Great Reno Balloon Race, plus some amazing photos of the balloons brightening up a day in the desert.

Where to Stay for the Nifty Reno Balloon Race:
The Great Reno Balloon Race is on the outskirts of town at San Rafael Regional Park. Staying downtown will put yous about 10 minutes from the park past motorcar. There are numerous lodging opportunities, just
usa Circus
is a family-friendly hotel and casino with live entertainment and a tasty eating house, and the prices are incredibly affordable.

Havasu Balloon Festival and Fair: The Best Hot Air Balloon Festival in Arizona

Lake Havasu Metropolis, AZ: Mid January

2022 Update: The Havasu Balloon Festival will take identify from Jan 20-23, 2022

A red and white striped hot air balloon floating near the surface of Lake Havasu with mountains in the background.
A hot air balloon makes an early on morning ascent in Lake Havasu City/ photo credit: Tara Schatz

I may be biased considering Lake Havasu is my dad’southward dwelling base, merely the Havasu Balloon Festival and Fair is one of my favorites.  It takes place in January, which is simply when I’1000 feeling done with winter in the Northeast, and you can’t beat out the properties of the rugged Arizona peaks reflecting on gorgeous Lake Havasu.

The festival takes identify over the weekend, and there are two mass ascensions each day. The early morning ascension is my favorite, and many people accept their kayaks or boats out to picket the balloons from the lake. In one case the balloons are up for the day, the fair begins, with alive music, carnival rides, vendors, and performers. There is a night glow each evening when all the balloons light upward the sky. You can read more about
visiting Lake Havasu City here. 

For more about this yr’due south hot air balloon festival, check out the official
Havasu Balloon Festival website.

Where to Stay for the Havasu Airship Festival:You lot tin can’t beat the views at the
Nautical Beachfront Resort

on Lake Havasu, which features a pool, kitchenettes in each room, a golf course, and activities for kids. Traveling with your family? Read about these stellar
family-friendly vacation rentals in Lake Havasu City!

Plano Balloon Festival: twoscore+ Years of forty+ Balloons

Plano, TX: Mid September

2022 Update: The Plano Balloon Festival will take place from September 23 – 25, 2022

Several hot air balloons on display at the glow during the Plano Balloon Festival in Texas.
The dark glow at the Plano Balloon Festival. Photograph credit: Priya from Outside Suburbia.

Plano, Texas is the place to exist in mid-September when more than 40 hot air balloons and a dozen special characters take to the skies for the
Plano Balloon Festival.

This vibrant, family unit-friendly hot air balloon festival has been going on for more than 40 years, and while the balloons are definitely the chief attraction, the festival includes 2 stages of entertainment, and fireworks, likewise as a half-marathon, 10K, 5K, and 1K.

Priya from
Outside Suburbia
attends the Plano Balloon Festival with her family each yr. She loves spotting the special-shaped balloons that attend the festival. “My husband always wonders how erstwhile I really am when I start jumping and clapping when I run across one of the fun shapes lift off!”

The Plano Balloon Festivals is ane of the all-time balloon festivals for families with kids. They will love the inflatable rides, obstacle courses, slides, and art activities, not to mention the night balloon glow and the skydiving events.

Where to Stay for the Plano Balloon Festival:
Homewood Suites by Hilton – Plano-Richardson
is a spacious all-suite property just minutes from Oak Indicate Park where the balloon festival is held each year. The grounds are fabulous with an outdoor pool and fitness courts, and the breakfast is delicious.

These may exist the best hot air balloon festivals beyond America, only there are hundreds more than. If you want to beat the crowds and check out some smaller events, you lot can find more than on

Planning a fabled hot air balloon festival road trip? Here are some posts for staying sane and having fun while on the route!

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A colorful photo of a hot air balloon. Text overlay: America's Best Hot Air Balloon Festivals


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