As I write this post on the last days of 2023, my wish to you is that 2024 is filled with many new experiences. Along with bucket list items and of course a hot air ballon ride! Ok, but seriously, if you haven’t ascended in a hot air ballon, you really should try it. And this list of Hot Air Balloon Festivals in Colorado is a great place to start.
Our first balloon ride was at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta and I will remember that feeling forever. It was magical, peaceful and better than I had expected. We rode with Rainbow Ryders, as they are a well known and reputable balloon ride company. And they too will be offering rides at one of the balloon festivals in Colorado this year.
With that being said, the bright blue backdrop of the Rocky Mountain sky, makes Colorado the perfect place to see hot air balloons take over the sky.
This helpful guide will give you all the dates and locations of all the hot air balloon festivals in Colorado for 2024. So if attending a hot air balloon festival in Colorado is on your list this year, this is for you!
Hot Air Balloon Festivals in Colorado
1. Colorado Springs Labor Day Lift Off
Labor Day Weekend | Memorial Park, Colorado Springs
Tickets: Free to Attend, tickets needed for parking and hot air balloon ride
Kickstart your Labor Day Weekend with the Colorado Springs Labor Day Lift Off, a spectacular event featuring dozens of hot air balloons.
Enjoy live music, food trucks, and a beer garden as you watch the sun rise with colorful balloons against the backdrop of Prospect Lake. Don’t miss the thrilling morning launches along with Saturday night and Sunday night balloon glows.
Last years Sunday night performance included Mosquito Pass, a favorite local Colorado Springs Band.
2. Telluride Balloon Festival
May 31 to June 1, 2024 | Telluride Town Park
Tickets: Free to Attend
Held every year in the summer season, The Telluride Balloon Festival is a captivating display of colorful balloons soaring above the picturesque San Juan Mountains.
With weather permitting you can watch mass ascensions on Saturday night with multiple other hot air balloon events on both Saturday and Sunday. It’s a breathtaking way to spend your day in the mountains.
3. Snowmass Balloon Festival
September 2024 | Snowmass Town Park, Snowmass
Tickets: Free to attend
The Snowmass Balloon Festival is a long time Rocky Mountain hot air balloon tradition. It is a true high-altitude spectacle with hot air balloons floating over the stunning Rocky Mountains. This festival offers early morning balloon launches and attendees are encouraged to walk, hike, bike or drive in to see the show. You will find the prime viewing at the launch field in Snowmass Town Park.
The festival often includes activities for children, live entertainment and food vendors. Attendees can take balloon rides, interact with pilots, and enjoy the serene beauty of the mountains from high above.
January 19 – 21, 2024 | Pagosa Springs
Tickets: Free to attend, with food and drinks for purchase
Winterfest is a family friendly weekend event that is packed with activities. This festivals is more than just hot air balloons, with a parade, penguin plunge, sled races, cross country ski clinic and much more.
The hot air balloon portion of the festival includes a Saturday and Sunday 8AM mass ascension into the Colorado skies. You can enjoy this view in Uptown near Park Avenue.
5. Moffat County Balloon Festival
August 2 – 4, 2024 | Loudy-Simpson Park, Craig
Tickets: Free to attend, $10 for tethered balloon rides
The Moffat County Balloon Festival is a 3 day event with Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning launches.
Activities at the festival include a Saturday evening balloon glow, tethered hot air balloon rides, classic car show, Journey tribute band and a cardboard boat regatta. This festival is a unique blend of tradition and adventure.
6. Windsor Harvest Festival Balloon Rally
September 2024 | Eastman Park, Windsor
Tickets: Free to attend
Picture the Sky Balloon Rally is just one of many events events taking place at the annual Windsor Harvest Festival. The Rally includes two days of morning balloon entertainment. You can join in the early hours of the morning around 615am with pilot briefings followed by weather permitting balloon launch.
Other festival activities include a parade, pie eating contest, craft vendors and more.
7. Balloon Fest – Chilie & Frijoles
September 20 – 24, 2024 | Langoni Soccer Fields, Pueblo
Tickets: $6 Admission with free parking
Chilie & Frijoles Festival is a 3 day event featuring live music, street vendors, cooking competitions and a Chihuahua parades. You will find the festival throughout 10 blocks of the historic downtown.
Lastly, if weather conditions permit, the hot air balloon portion of the festival includes a Sunday morning ascension from 24th and High Street.
8. Yampa Valley Balloon Rodeo
TBD | Bald Eagle Park, Steamboat Springs
Previous referred to as the Steamboat Springs Hot Air Balloon Rodeo, the Yampa Valley Balloon Rodeo is a weekend festival in July. Per the website, the event is on hold indefinitely.
9. Arkansas Valley Balloon Festival
November 2024 | Rocky Ford
Tickets: Free to Attend
This annual 3 day event takes places the first weekend of November. And it is the only hot air balloon festival in Southeast Colorado. With this festival of balloonist, it also includes art, photo contest, wake up breakfast, demonstrations and welcome dinner.
The biggest event is a Saturday morning launch where you can purchase hot chocolate, coffee, cinnamon rolls and breakfast burritos as you watch the balloons fill the sky.
10. Frederick in Flight
June 21, 22, & 23, 2024 | Centennial Park, Frederick
Tickets: Free to Attend, Sponsored Balloon Rides
The Fredrick in Flight Hot Air Balloon Festival has three 6AM morning launches and a party Saturday night. The event is fun for the whole family. As the activities include the Saturday night party featuring music, vendors, beer garden, kids activities and balloon glow.
Balloon rides are available for a sponsored ride of $400 during the morning launch.
11. Colorfest Balloon Rally Pagosa Springs
September 2024 | Pagosa Springs
Tickets: Balloon launch is Free, other events need tickets
Colorfest Balloon Rally is part of the Passport to Pagosa Food and Wine Festival. The event features local food and wine along with music and two mass hot air balloon launches Saturday and Sunday morning. Also, you can watch 40 balloons fill the sky each morning. The event sells out every year, so check back soon for tickets.
12. Erie Hot Air Balloon Launch
Summer 2024 | Colliers Hill, Erie
Tickets: Free to attend
The Erie Hot Air Balloon launch includes three days of morning launches. Beginning at 6AM and launch time starting around 8AM. You can watch 2 dozens hot air balloons fill the sky. So, bring a blanket and or lawn chair and enjoy the show.
To reduce traffic, it is encouraged for local residents to walk or bike to get to the launch site.
Hot Air Balloon Festivals near Colorado
Colorado River Crossings Balloon Festival
This annual balloon festival takes place in Yuma, Arizona. It crosses the Colorado River, hence its name. The festival is one of Arizona’s premier fall events, and one not miss.
Along with Colorado River Crossing, you’ll find more information about Arizona’s ballooning events here: 11 Arizona Hot Air Balloon Festivals & Rides (2024)
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
The Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta is the largest balloon festival in the world. In fact, many people have this festival on their bucket list to attend. It is a 9 day festival full of activities that also offers camping. But act fact, because it sells out the day it goes on sale.
Along with camping festival information, you can find more Balloon Festivals with camping to attend if this activity is on your unique experience list.
Great Reno Balloon Race
Lastly, the Reno Balloon Race is the world’s largest FREE ballooning event. It takes place in Reno, Nevada in early September over 3 days.
As you can see, there are many opportunities in Colorado to see hot air balloons fill up the sky. So, I hope you enjoy this list and get to attend one or more of hot air balloon festivals in Colorado.
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