2023 Best Hot Air Balloon Texas Festivals

balloon festivals in texas this year

Hot air balloon Texas festivals are like a canvas splashed with vivid colors against the open sky. This year, the Lone Star State is gearing up to host a series of exhilarating balloon events that promise to be enjoyable. Historically, these events have attracted thousands of locals and tourists eager to explore the enchanting world of hot air balloons.

This travel guide shares what to expect at the 2023 Hot Air Balloon Texas Festivals. Get ready to explore the wonders that await you!

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Quick Hot Air Balloon Texas Facts

  • Longview in Gregg County has an official designation as the balloon capital of Texas
  • Longview is also the balloon race capital of Texas
  • Plano’s hot air balloon event is the oldest and largest in Texas
texas hot air balloons

Texas – The Perfect Host for Balloon Festivals

When it comes to hosting balloon festivals, Texas boasts a landscape as diverse as the balloons that grace its skies.

The state’s expansive horizons, scenic backdrops, and favorable weather conditions make it an ideal playground for balloon enthusiasts from around the world. 

Texas plays host to several balloon festivals throughout the year, each unique in its own right. Let’s explore the host towns and cities where these magical events will unfold.

hot air balloon festival travel guide

Great Texas Balloon Race

The Great Texas Balloon Race in East Texas is a world class event that draws the most skilled hot air balloon pilots from both the United States and around the globe.

Date: June 16-19, 2023

Location: Longview Convention Complex

Canton Texas Hot Air Balloon Fest

The Canton Balloon Fest is a two-day annual event featuring diverse vendors, family activities, live music, and colorful hot air balloons. Both tethered and full balloon rides are available during the event.

Date: July 7-8, 2023

Location: 800 First Monday Ln, Canton, TX 75103

Lufkin Balloon Fest

The Lufkin Balloon Fest is an annual event that features balloon flights, entertainment, food vendors, musical performances, and more. 

Date: August 26, 2023

Address: Kit McConnico Park

texas balloon festival and hot air balloon rides

Fredericksburg Farm to Table Dinner & Balloon Event

The​ Fredericksburg Balloon Festival in central Texas hill country is held over Labor Day weekend. It features a mesmerizing nighttime balloon glow and opportunities for hot air balloon rides

Date: September 2, 2023 

Address: Grapetown Vineyard, 8142 Old San Antonio Rd.

Kyle Hot Air Balloon Texas Pie in the Sky Festival

The Kyle Texas Pie in the Sky balloon festival is held on Labor Day weekend. 

Date: September 2, 2023 

Location: Lake Kyle Park

Fun fact: Kyle is the pie capital of Texas

Paris Hot Air Balloon Texas Festival 

This United States Paris balloon festival is a two-day hot air balloon event that also doubles as a music festival. 

Date: September 8- September 9, 2023

Address: 570 E Center St, Paris, TX

hot air ballon festivals and tethered balloon rides are some of the wonderful attractions and great things to do at balloon festivals

Plano Texas Hot Air Balloon Festival 

This 40+ year-old annual North Texas hot air balloon festival is a highly anticipated four-day event. 

Date: September 21- September 24, 2023

Location: Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve

Selma Texas Hot Air Balloon Fest

In addition to the hot air balloons, The Skylight Balloon Fest features vendors, food trucks, concerts, live shows, and more. 

Date: September 29- October 1, 2023

Location: 16765 Lookout Rd, Selma, TX

19 Tips For an Unforgettable Hot Air Balloon Texas Festival Experience

The following are tips for your Texas hot air balloon experience: 

1. Check Festival Dates

Confirm the festival dates in advance and mark your calendar. These events often have specific schedules, so planning is key.

2. Buy Tickets Early

For paid hot air balloon events, confirm the ticket price and purchase your tickets ahead of time

3. Plan for Hot Air Balloon Rides

The opportunity for a private or group flight hot air ballooning is a bucket list adventure worth exploring. 

Expect a fun time on shared flights on tethered balloon rides and a post flight champagne ceremony at amazing hot air balloon festivals

4. Bring The Entire Family

Balloon Festivals are a great time for the entire family as there are plenty of fun activities suitable for kids and adults alike.

5. Plan Accommodations

Book your accommodations well in advance, especially if the festival is in a popular tourist area. 

Tip: With Booking, you can reserve your hotel and pay later, while still getting the best rates.

6. Arrive Early

Arriving early allows you to secure parking, avoid traffic, and catch the breathtaking early morning balloon launches or night flights.

7. Dress Comfortably

Wear comfortable clothing and layers, as temperatures may vary throughout the day. Don’t forget to wear sunscreen and a hat.

8. Check the Weather

Keep an eye on the weather forecast. Hot air balloon flights are weather permitting, so weather conditions can impact the schedule.

9. Bring a Camera

Don’t forget your camera or smartphone to capture the colorful balloons against the Texas sky. Extra batteries or power banks can be helpful.

10. Consider a Picnic

Some festivals allow picnics, so pack a picnic basket with your favorite treats for a leisurely meal on the festival grounds.

Check out our What to Bring on a Picnic Guide for tips to plan an epic picnic experience!

a guide to what to bring on a picnic

11. Stay Hydrated

Texas can get hot, so drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated.

12. Know Parking Options

  Be aware of parking options, whether it’s free parking or paid, and adhere to the designated parking areas.

a best run event and amazing experience at hot air balloon festivals

13. Explore Festival Highlights

Plan to attend special events like nightly balloon glows, where a fleet of hot air balloons light up the night sky for an overall wonderful experience.

14. Respect Balloon Crews

Be mindful of balloon crews as they prepare for flights. Stay clear of landing sites and follow safety instructions.

15. Explore Vendor Booths

Visit vendor booths to shop for souvenirs, local crafts, and artisanal products.

16. Try Festival Food

Sample the festival’s food offerings, including great food from food vendors and food trucks.

17. Bring Cash

While some vendors may accept cards, having cash on hand can be helpful, especially for smaller purchases.

18. Check Out Special Events

Texas balloon festivals often host special events like live music performances, car shows, and glow runs, adding to the excitement.

19. Visit the Festival Website

Visit the festival’s official website for the most up-to-date information, including schedules and parking details.

These tips will prepare you for a memorable and fantastic experience at a Texas hot air balloon festival.:

Texas Hot Air Balloon Ride Companies

If you are seeking a professional hot air balloon adventure flight beyond that which is offered at a festival, the following are some companies to consider:

Rohr Balloons Hot Air Balloon Rides

Rohr Balloons provides a variety of hot air balloon experiences. These include shared flights with the pilot and fellow passengers, private flights for couples, tethered rides at events, or arrangements for larger groups.

Balloon Adventures USA Hot Air Balloons

Balloon Adventures USA offers incredible flight experiences, including sunrise and sunset flights throughout the year, subject to suitable weather conditions.

Check out our Dallas Hot Air Balloon Ride Travel Guide for more details.

Final Thoughts About Hot Air Balloon Texas Festivals

If you’ve ever dreamt of floating in the sky with nothing but the wind to guide you, hot air balloon rides offer an unparalleled experience. To that end, Hot Air Balloon Texas festivals are an excellent opportunity to witness the sky come alive with vibrant colors as the joy of ballooning fills the air.

Whether you will be taking in the sights from the unique vantage point of a balloon basket or enjoying the festivities on the ground, Texas hot air balloon festivals promise an amazing experience!

hot air balloon festivals are a great opportunity to experience a balloon ride

More Hot Air Balloon Experiences in the United States

Fun fact: The hot air balloon capital of the United States, AND the world is Albuquerque, New Mexico!

Check out our detailed Snowmass Village, Colorado Balloon Festival Guide here.

snowmass village balloon festival

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balloon fest


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