Balloon festival have become festivals that gather huge crowds worldwide for the spectacle of seeing dozens of aerostats flying and for fun activities on land, especially musical concerts and light games involving the same balloons at night.
For this reason, in this article I will tell you about the 13 best balloon festival in the world, so you will be encouraged to do everything possible to attend one of them soon.
1. Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
This festival takes place in the American and New American city of Albuquerque during the first week of October.
It is considered one of the most interesting balloon festivals in the world, due to the number of aerostatic units that plow through the air and the conditions in which navigation is carried out, which is favored by a meteorological phenomenon called “Caja de Albuquerque”.
This effect related to the wind patterns allows the pilot to land the balloon in the same field from which it has taken off as if it were an airplane that makes a circuit with departure and arrival at the same airport.
That is what makes the public witness the maneuvers and participate in the flights with greater comfort.
The massive balloon departure takes place in a huge ascension field with an area similar to that of 54 football fields.
During the International Balloon Fiesta, Albuquerque becomes a mini-universe with people from all over the world and balloons of all colors.
One of the days of the festival is dedicated to the Flight of the Nations, in which the balloons carry the flag of their countries of origin.
2. International Balloon Festival of Leon, Guanajuato
It is celebrated in mid-November for four days in the city of León, state of Guanajuato, Mexico. It is the most important festival of balloons in the Aztec country and one of the best in the world.
About 200 balloons depart from the Metropolitan Ecological Park of the city, while a series of cultural events that include music, competitions, food fair, and other activities take place on land.
See a show called “Magic Nights” in which the balloons are anchored on the ground and remain illuminated, making plays of lights that follow the music as if it were a gigantic open-air disco.
This festival stimulates the participation of the public according to a program in which the interested people help the pilots in all the land activities necessary for the takeoff and landing, for which they receive as a prize a free balloon ride.
3. Colorado Springs Labor Day Festival
It is held the weekend following May Day, Labor Day, in the city of Colorado Springs.
At 6:30 in the morning everything is ready at Memorial Park to begin the ascent of more than 70 balloons at a party that began to be held more than four decades ago.
During the event, members of the “Wings of Blue” squadron of the US Air Force demonstrate skydiving, there are displays of games with flying discs, as well as paddle boarding competitions on Lake Prospect.
Competitions to eat donuts and contests to carve logs with chainsaws have been included in the programs.
The ascent starts at 6:30 pm and the Colorado Springs night sky is filled with beautifully lit balloons, while the crowd enjoys music, barbecues and another local cuisine.
4. The Great Reno Balloon Race
It takes place in the Nevada city of Reno at the beginning of September. It began humbly in 1982 with 20 balloons and now nearly 100 depart, attracting more than 130,000 spectators at each festival.
Ascents are held at the San Rafael ranch near the University of Nevada and the mission of the event is to “celebrate the joy of flying,” making it free to the public.
Some 100 volunteers, who are passionate aeronauts, assist the pilots in preparing their flights, assist the spectators and collaborate in the maintenance of the take-off areas and facilities.
The participants of this Reno demonstration attend exclusively by invitation of the organizers and in 2015 participated for the first time a Mexican balloon, the CDMX.
5. New Jersey Hot Air Balloon Festival
This summer festival takes place the last weekend of July in the town of Readington, Hunterdon County, New Jersey.
More than 100 hot air balloons of different shapes and from all over the world take flight first thing in the morning and at the end of the night, exciting more than 160,000 attendees.
The event is enlivened by several musical concerts and is considered the largest balloon and music festival in the United States.
Other attractions of this balloon party are the pyrotechnic shows and a 5 km race.
6. International Balloon Festival of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu
The beautiful Québec city of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu hosts this hot air balloon festival, the most important in Canada, every August.
Around 100 balloons participate annually, mainly Canadians and Americans, which together with the concerts of popular bands, attract almost half a million people.
One of the most awaited spectacles by the assistants is the Nuits Magiques, when the balloons are inflated as if they were colossal flowers of Chinese lanterns, emphasizing in the night their red and yellow colors.
In the 2017 edition the Pop Challenge was inaugurated, a fun race in which about 20 immense aerostatic artifacts participate. The festival also offers a sample of crafts.
7. Bristol International Balloon Fiesta
It takes place in August, in the English city of Bristol and is one of the largest balloon gatherings in Europe, with more than 130 aerostats from around the world. Inflatables are launched from the Ashton Court Estate. A huge estate with a beautiful 11th-century mansion.
It lasts four days, has day and night ascensions. Ends with a spectacular fireworks display.
Bristol competes with Liverpool (birthplace of the Beatles ) for recognition as “musical city of England”. And the International Balloon Festival is animated by the most popular bands, whose concerts help attract huge crowds.
It is a free party, in which attendees only have to pay for the parking of their vehicles.
8. European Balloon Festival
The venue for this event, the most important in Spain, is the Catalan city of Igualada, located 65 km from Barcelona.
It lasts four days during the first half of July and more than 50 balloons amount to day and night trips. Attracting more than 25,000 tourists.
The event combines recreational, competitive flights and at night the beauty of illuminated balloons like lanterns on the ground competes with that of fireworks in the sky.
During the festival, there are musical concerts, activities for children and a sample of the best gastronomy in Catalonia.
9. Chambley-Bussieres Balloon World
The Air Base located in the town of Chambley-Bussieres, in the French region of Lorraine, is the place from where take off every two years, in July. The balloons of this festival, in which inflatables from more than 40 countries participate.
In 2017, a total of 456 balloons, a global brand, rose in less than an hour.
The first Mondial Air Ballons was held in 1989, as part of the lavish celebrations organized by the country to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution.
Its biannual frequency creates excitement among balloon enthusiasts, summoning crowds that exceed 400,000 people in each event.
10. International Ballooning Festival of Chateau-d’Oex
The first balloon to circumnavigate nonstop in the world, the Breitling Orbiter III, was manned by the Swiss aeronaut Bertrand Piccard and the English flight engineer Brian Jones, departed in 1999 from Chateau-d’Oex.
This Swiss commune located in the canton of Vaud, near Lake Leman, is home to the International Balloon Festival. A meeting in which nearly 100 aerostats from some 20 countries participate.
From the heights, the crew and lucky passengers have the breathtaking views of the snowy peaks of the Alps and the Swiss lakes.
This festival takes place for nine days, between the end of January and the beginning of February. It offers nightly shows of light and sound, pyrotechnic demonstrations and paragliding flight exhibitions.
The occasion is propitious to visit the Museum of Hot Air Balloons of Chateau-d’Oex, where you can know in detail the incidents of the epic journey of 20 consecutive days and more than 45 000 km of Piccard and Jones.
11. International Balloon Festival of Taiwan
The most important tourist activity of the year in the Taiwanese city of Taitung. East of the island facing the Pacific Ocean, is the International Balloon Festival that takes place for five days in July.
An online survey placed the balloon event first among the attractions of the city. Above the observation of the flowering lily fields and the Aboriginal hunting festival.
More than 30 balloons from countries in Asia, Europe, America and Oceania participate. The nights are enlivened by groups of Taiwanese rock and other musical genres of the island located in front of mainland China.
12. International Saga Globe Party
This festival, one of the oldest in the world, takes place in Saga. A Japanese city located on the island of Kyushu, in the south of the Japanese archipelago.
During five days of the beginning of November. More than 100 balloons cross the sky to the delight of more than 800,000 spectators in each event.
The festival has an interactive school in which expert pilots explain to the participants the basics of ballooning.
The party of balloons of Saga is the delight of the children by the forms allusive to famous animals. And characters of the cartoons that adopt several inflatables.
13. Canberra Balloon Show
In March, the sky of the Australian city of Canberra is filled with multicolored balloons that take off from the lawn of the Old House of Parliament, the seat of the Australian Congress until 1988.
The festival takes place during nine days of March and the promotions take place early in the morning, forcing the Canberra and visitors to get up earlier to admire the colorful balloons that harmonize with the varied shades of the trees in the fall Australian.
In the pond of the Old House of Parliament. The inflatables reflect their sympathetic designs that allude to birds, reptiles, bees, and other living beings.
Canberra is the capital of Australia and other of its tourist attractions are the Memorial of the First World War. The National Gallery, the National Library, the National Museum, and the Burley Lake Griffin.
Which of these festivals would you like to go to first? Share your balloon experiences with us in the comments session. And do not forget to send this article to your friends on social networks. So, they also know which are the best balloon festivals in the world.