Ashland BalloonFest

Ashland BalloonFest
The city of Ashland, Ohio has been hosting a spectacular hot air balloon festival for over 25 years. Founded in 1990, the Ashland BalloonFest (also known as the Ashland Ohio BalloonFest) is a memorable weekend for the community of Ashland and one of the most anticipated events in all of Ohio.

The Ashland BalloonFest is typically held the first weekend of July, kicking off on Thursday and running through Sunday. As a result, it often coincides with the 4th of July celebrations, and what can be more fun than celebrating the US Independence Day watching dozens of hot air balloons float in the sky, reminding us that only the sky is the limit?

The program of the festival is filled with exciting events and activities for grown-ups and kids alike. They include mass ascensions of hot air balloons, balloon races, Balloon Glow, sport tournaments, stage performances, exhibits, displays, kids fun zone, exotic animal shows, food vendors, and more.

Every year there are 20 to 30 balloons participating, including special shape balloons like the Purple People Eater, Red Dragon, Santa Claus, a pink monster truck, a giant American flag, and even Gordo the Monkey. The number of participants depends on pilot schedules and sponsorships available. Balloons fly around 7 am and 7 pm but one should keep in mind that ballooning is a weather-sensitive activity so all balloon-related events are subject to delay or cancellation. Unlike some other balloon festivals, the Ashland BalloonFest does not offer public balloon rides, it is a spectator event.

One of the main highlights of the festival is the Balloon Glow. Every evening balloons are inflated at dusk and kept on the ground. When it gets dark, pilots operate the burners so that balloons light up and glow against the night sky, choreographed to music.

Ashland BalloonFest

Photo: Ryan Niemiec




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