Hot air balloon festivals are a really cool sight to behold. They often feature dozens of even hundreds of brightly colored giant hot air balloons floating high up into the sky above.
Most balloon launches take place either in the early morning or late afternoon due to the fact that winds are generally calmer and temperatures are lower, which are important weather conditions for a hot air balloon launch.
The most famous hot air balloon festivals in the world is the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, which takes place every year in Albuquerque, New Mexico and features as many as 600 hot air balloons!
You can see some excellent hot air balloon festivals in Virginia too! Below are some of my top recommendations for hot air balloon festivals in Virginia.
Top photo by ian dooley on Unsplash.
Balloons Over Rockbridge
Oak Hill Property, At the Virginia Horse Center, 487 Maury River Road, Lexington, VA 24450
July 1 and 2, 2023
The Balloons Over Rockbridge annual hot air balloon festival is filled with fun events, including a tethered balloon ride, the inflation of the balloons, food, a wine and beer tent, music acts, a kids zone, and much more.
For a fee, you can also purchase a ride in a balloon, but these sell out and so make sure to book in advance.
Free admission to the festival.
Tethered Balloon Rides: $20 (Adults), $15 (children under 10)
Balloon ride: $275 (reservations required in advance.)
Prince William County Hot Air Balloon Festival
Prince William County Fairgrounds, 10624 Dumfries Road, Manassas, VA 20112
October 15 and 16, 2022 (3 pm to 10 pm) (2023 Dates TBA)
The Prince William County Hot Air Balloon Festival occurs in the fall and features a kid’s zone with trains, bounce houses, rock walls, and even a zip line.
You can also get a ride in a tethered balloon, plus there is a DJ and live music, arts and crafts vendors, and food vendors.
The event occurs from 3 pm and 10 pm, and one of the unique highlights is the Hot Air Balloon Glow & Laser show. It occurs after 8 pm and features the brightly colored balloons plus lasers!
Tethered Balloon Rides: $25
The Flying Circus Hot Air Balloon Festival
5114 Ritchie Road (Route 644) in Bealeton, VA
August 21 and 22, 2022 (2023 dates TBA)
The Flying Circus Hot Air Balloon Festival features tethered and chartered flights in the balloons throughout the festival.
For an extra fee, they also have numerous airplane rides that you can take, including both open air cockpit and closed cockpit flights. The plane rides give you a chance to see the balloons from the biplane cockpit, which is really cool!
The event also has picnic tables, plus food vendors on site selling Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, Nachos, Pepsi products, Ice Cream, and more.
You can find more information and FAQs about the festival here.
Children (age 5-12): $10
Children (Under 5): Free
Open Cockpit Standard Ride: $100
Open Cockpit Acrobatic Ride: $180
Enclosed Cockpit: $65
Balloon Rides: $150-250
Tethered Balloon Rides: $10-20
More ticket details can be found here.
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