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Must See Hot Air Balloon Festivals in North America

Updated on April 12, 2011

Hot air balloon

Hot Air Balloon Festivals in North America

North America is home to some exceptional Hot Air Balloon Festivals. Below you will find information about two in the United States and one in Canada. Whichever one you choose, you and your family are sure to be exhilarated as colorful balloons in a variety of shapes and sizes take to the skies. Two of the events below offer balloon rides. In addition to exciting balloon launches, all the festivals below include dynamic programs featuring fun and exciting activities for children and adults.

1.     The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

Held over a nine day period every autumn since 1972 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, this is the world’s largest balloon festival with up to 700 remarkable balloons lifting off into the air. The festival includes early pre-dawn ascensions, night glows and ‘The Flight of Nations’ Mass Ascension where balloons representing different nations are launched, one at a time, accompanied by the playing of their national anthems. The event also features exhibits of unique balloons shapes, balloon races, competitions and fireworks.

2.     Tigard Balloon Festival.

This popular weekend festival takes place from June 24 to 26 in Tigard, Oregon. The festival includes a wide variety of family fun activities including a carnival with amusement rides, a car show, live music, a BBQ contest, night glows and early morning ascensions. The festival also includes scenic helicopter tours and a youth soccer tournament. Unlike the other balloon festivals, the Tigard festival does not offer balloon rides.

3.     International Balloon Festival of Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu

This is the largest balloon festival in Canada with over 100 balloons. The festival runs from August 13 to August 21 this year and takes place in Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu in Quebec. The balloon festival includes night glows, free shows, carnival rides, children’s workshops, giant inflatable marionettes and Balloon Planet: what is being touted as the world’s largest inflatable theme park. The balloon festival also includes a concert with popular recording artists. This year’s concert features dance-pop sensation, Kesha. 

Balloon Festivals make an ideal family vacation. In addition to sharing the magical spectacle of these colorful and multiple-shaped balloons with your children, the carnival atmosphere of these festivals offer a wide range of activities for people of all ages. If you are planning on traveling this summer, these festivals also provide an opportunity to discover some very distinct regions of the United States and Canada.

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      vincent laflamme 7 years ago from sherbrooke

      Very nice. I'll be there this summer!

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