Here is a fun and unique event for this weekend. This year’s Hudson Valley Hot-Air Balloon Festival is back and promises more of everything—more eye-catching “shape balloons,” more vendors, and more attendees. We were able to enjoy one of the ‘tether”balloon flights which takes you a short distance off the ground, and it was a fun experience.
The festival takes place in the scenic village of Rhinebeck New York. Be sure to visit the village and browse its shops or grab a bite at some of the great local eateries.
The festival, presented by the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce (DCRCOC), is in its 28th year of hosting balloonists from all over the country, and will once again take place at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds, on July 12th, 13th, and 14th. The Fairgrounds treats spectators to a 360-degree view of the balloons; gives guests free and easy parking; and allows balloonists room to launch, offer paid rides to the public, and interact with the crowd.
The Hudson Valley Hot-Air Balloon Festival hosts over 100 balloon launches throughout the weekend, with mass launches scheduled for 6 pm in the evenings Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and the popular sunrise launches at 6 am—which are free and open to the public—on Saturday and Sunday. An exciting variety of other activities will be available at all times. These include a craft beverage tap tent with live music, over 100 vendors, food trucks, hayrides, family friendly games, and “balloon presentations,” where balloonists will answer commonly asked questions about the art of ballooning.
Festival-goers can purchase full flight balloon rides and helicopter rides, which are available on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, online in advance.. Tethered hot-air balloon rides are available on a first-come-first-served basis. These rides are $20 per person, cash only. Spectators should arrive an hour early to allow extra time for traffic and to ensure seeing the balloons inflate and launch. For more information and to reserve your ride, visit https://www.dcrcoc.org/balloonridereservations. It is extremely important to note that all rides and launches are weather- and wind-permitting.
Advance discounted tickets are available online. Visit balloonfesthv.com for festival tickets and balloon ride reservations, schedule and festival information, and a full list of sponsors and vendors.
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