Organisers: Please send details of your hot air balloon event to firstname.lastname@example.org for inclusion here
Balloon enthusiasts: find out where to see hot air balloons and gas balloons!
Forthcoming events are below.
For an archive of balloon events please click here
|Date||Event Name||Where||Organiser Details/Contact||Other Information|
|20-24 November||Colorado River Crossing||Yuma, Arizona, USA||caballeros.org|
|1-20 December||Libyan Balloon Festival||Leptis Magna, Libya||www.prepare2go.com|
|6-8 December||Africa Balloon Fiesta||Masai Mara, Kenyaemail@example.com|
|7-8 December||Thailand International Balloon Festival||Chiang Mai, Thailand||www.thailandballoonfestival.com|
|13-15 December||Arizona Balloon Classic||Gilbert, Arizona||www.azballoonclassic.com|
|25 December||Christmas Balloon Inflation||Vrasene, Belgium||www.airventureballooning.be|
|4-5 January||Icicle Meet||Wiltshire, UK||www.icicle.org.uk|
|4-12 January||Dolomiti Balloon Festival||Toblach, Italy||www.balloonfestival.it|
|5-6 January||Epiphany Meet||Mondovi, Italy||www.aeroclubmondovi.it|
|11-18 January||Dachstein Alpentrophy||Gosau, Austria||www.dachstein-alpentrophy.com|
|25-26 January||Mesquite Balloon Festival||Nevada, USA||www.casablancaresort.com|
|25 January - 2 February||Chateau d'Oex Festival de Ballons||Chateau d'Oex, Switzerland||www.festivaldeballons.ch|
|7-9 February||Vernon Winter Carnival||British Columbia, Canada||www.vernonwintercarnival.com||Balloons wanted|
|22-23 February||Brass Monkey Meet||Harrogate, UK||www.prba.org.uk|
|8-16 March||Canberra Balloon Spectacular||Canberra, Australia||www.events.act.gov.au|
|12-16 March||Balloons over Wairarapa||Wairarapa, New Zealand||www.nzballoons.co.nz|
|22 March - 2 May||Snows Isle of Wight Balloon Challenge||Hampshire, UK||iowballoonchallenge2014.co.uk|
|26-30 March||Balloons over Waikato||Hamilton, New Zealand||www.balloonsoverwaikato.co.nz|
|27-30 March||Putrajaya Balloon Fiesta||Putrajaya, Malaysia||www.myballoonfiesta.com|
|11-13 April||New Beginnings Meet||Wolverley, Worcs, UKfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|22-27 April||Canowindra Balloon Challenge||Canowindra, Australia||www.canowindrachallenge.org.au|
|9-11 May||Flying Man of Pocklington||Allerthotpe, E Yorks, UKemail@example.com|
|15-17 May||Maryland Preakness Challenge||Howard County, Maryland, USA||www.ballooningusa.com|
|13-14 June||Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival||Foley, Alabama, USA||www.southbaldwinchamber.com|
|13-15 June||Henge Hoppers Meet||Kirklington, N Yorks, UKfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|20-22 June||Tigard Balloon Festival||Oregon, USA||www.tigardballoon.org|
|18-20 July||White Horse Meet||Thirsk, N Yorks, UKemail@example.com|
|7-10 August||Bristol Balloon Fiesta||Bristol, UK||www.bristolballoonfiesta.co.uk|
|15-17 August||Northampton Balloon Festival||Billing Aquadrome, Northants, UK||www.thenorthamptonballoonfestival.co.uk|
|29-31 August||Strathaven Balloon Festival||Strathaven, Scotland||www.strathavenballoonfestival.co.uk|
|27-28 September||Old Buckenham Balloon Festival||Old Buckenham Airfield, Norfolk||www.oldbuck.com|
|17-19 October||Autumn Gold Meet||Thornton-le-Dale, N Yorks, UKfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Want to list your balloon meet here?||Email email@example.com|
|Name of festival|
|Contact details or website|
|Would you like to have balloons come to your event?||Email the following details to firstname.lastname@example.org|
Date and Venue
Audience profile (eg age)
Is sponsorship or fee to attend available?
Any other details about the event
Who to contact
|If you are
organising a non-ballooning show and would like balloons to come to
your event, let us know the above details just the same. We'll post
it here for balloonists to read and, with any luck, a local
balloonist or commercial balloon display team will be interested in
making your event a bit hotter!
If you are a balloonist and want to go to any of the events listed above, please note that this is just a listing and we don't vouch for, or necessarily recommend these events. We are simply offering the information in an easy and regularly updated (and FREE!) format for you to see what's going on around the world. You are responsible for yourself and your balloon!
Guide for the public
As you can see from the list of ballooning events on this site, you can go and see balloons all over the world, and every balloon event is different.
Balloons normally fly in the mornings and evening when days are at their calmest and there are no thermic winds. In alpine areas or in winter you might also find balloons flying during the day. At organised events a popular display is a nightglow: balloons glowing in the dark by operating their yellow "whisper" burners.
Some events are ‘grassroots’ balloon meets, where balloonists gather on a field somewhere, go into a little huddle (the pilots’ briefing), then set up their balloons and fly off. Sometimes they have competitions and sometimes they just fly for fun.
Other events are big, commercial balloon festivals in city parks or at stately homes, where there are lots of other things to see and do and buy and eat and drink.
A few of the events are serious competitions. The pilots and observers will be concentrating very hard on the task in hand and there won’t be much for the public to do, apart from watching the launches.
The actual ballooning will be much the same at all the events. Balloons usually only fly just after sunrise and just before sunset. Quite often, launch times will be 6am and 6pm. The balloons may take off and disappear quite quickly. At the bigger, commercial events, they may tether on site during the day if the weather is favourable. In the evening there may be a nightglow scheduled at dusk or after dark.
Ballooning always depends on the weather. The windspeed is the crucial factor. If the trees are bending over and wind is whipping past you, you are very unlikely to see balloons up. Rain may not deter the hardy few, if it’s light drizzle, but most private pilots won’t want to get their balloons wet. It's no fun trying to dry 100ft or so of soggy nylon in your living room! Flights may be cancelled in advance or even on the field if conditions are changeable. Or they may be delayed if conditions are expected to improve – for example, if the morning is foggy. This can be frustrating for both the public and the pilots, but safety is always the priority. A very famous saying in aviation is: It's better to be down here wishing you were up there than up there wishing you were down here!
At some gatherings, a balloon basket might be set up during the day so that the public can have a look inside and ask the crew and pilot questions. If you are interested in finding out more about ballooning, or you want to get involved, the British Balloon and Airship Club (www.bbac.org) is the governing body in the British Isles. Most other countries have their own ballooning bodies, and there may well be a local club in your region. Follow a balloon and ask the pilot or crew!
Do take a camera or video, because balloons are very photogenic. Smile and wave at the balloonists, they will wave back! Balloon spotting is more common than you think............
If you enjoy following balloons during a flight, please do so safely and keep your eyes on the road! When the balloon has landed, unless it is on public parkland, please do not enter the field. It does belong to somebody. Please do not park your vehicle where it may block the way for other road users, especially on narrow lanes. It is the duty of the retrieve crew to find the farmer or landowner to arrange the recovery of the balloon. Feel free to approach the crew on the road. They may be very glad of an extra pair of hands to help with the recovery and packing away.
Do check the event is still on before you travel to it!
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