Hot air balloon rides offer an exhilarating and unforgettable experience, an opportunity to greet the day from an entirely different perspective and enjoy a temporary sense of freedom as the balloon drifts slowly above. Sonoma ballooning is particularly gratifying as passengers view the fields and vineyards below, bordered by a backdrop of mountains and sea.
Since the Montgolfier brothers of Paris first demonstrated the possibility of lighter-than-air passenger flight in 1783, the adventure has spread worldwide.
Today’s hot air balloons are safe, sophisticated aircraft piloted by licensed aviators and are celebrated with hot air balloon festivals around the world that annually celebrate the joys and delights of hot air ballooning festivals for participants, enthusiasts, and observers to enjoy.
Here is a list of some exciting hot air balloon festivals presented annually in the United States.
Sonoma County Hot Air Balloon Classic
Each June, the Sonoma County Hot Air Balloon Classic, one of the nation’s premier ballooning festivals and the only one in California’s Wine Country, is held in Santa Rosa, CA. The 2023 Sonoma Classic is a popular event celebrated now for over 30 years. The event begins with the pre-dawn launch of dozens of magnificent hot air balloons floating majestically across the sky as the sun starts to appear. During the event, attendees can enjoy tethered balloon rides, an array of food and drinks, live music and entertainment, kids’ activities, and various balloon-related gifts to celebrate hot air ballooning Sonoma-style.
The top local hot air balloon enterprise, Sonoma Ballooning, offers safe and memorable hot air balloon rides throughout the year and is a featured participant in the Sonoma County Hot Air Balloon Classic.
Great Reno Balloon Race, Reno
Just a bit west of the Sonoma County Hot Air Balloon Classic in Nevada is the dramatic Great Reno Balloon Race held each year in September. Now, in its 41st year, the event celebrates the joy of hot air ballooning with hundreds of participants and is free to the public. Centered in the Rancho San Rafael Regional Park, this beautiful spectacle averages 120,000 spectators and features music, food, and plenty of fun.
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta®
Moving south and west from Sonoma County, California, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in New Mexico will celebrate its 50th festival on October 1-9, 2022. A huge event with hundreds of balloon entries from all over the world, the Fiesta dubs itself the “World’s Biggest Hot Air Balloon Festival.”
America’s Freedom Festival Balloon Fest, Provo, Utah
For four days around the 4th of July celebrations each year, the Balloon Fest component of the annual Freedom Festival will be celebrating its 39th anniversary in 2023. At least 25 hot balloons greet each morning over Provo to kick off each day’s Festival activities.
Reserve Your Exciting Hot Air Balloon Experience with Sonoma Ballooning
Make your adventure to Sonoma County genuinely memorable with a hot air balloon Sonoma ride with Sonoma Ballooning. Safe, thrilling, and fascinating, your flight will reveal landscapes, hills, and valleys that are not easily seen from the ground. Watch your panorama widen as you and your fellow passengers slowly and quietly drift over the vineyards and villages of Sonoma County.
For more information and to make your reservations, visit the Sonoma Ballooning website. You may also phone Sonoma Ballooning at (707)-605-0872, and one of the reservationists will be pleased to help.