Warsteiner Internationale Montgolfiade

Warsteiner Internationale Montgolfiade
Photo: warsteiner-wim.de
The Warsteiner Internationale Montgolfiade (Warstein International Hot Air Balloon Festival) is an annual hot air balloon event held in the town of Warstein, North Rhine-Westfalia, Germany. It is sponsored by Warsteiner Brauerei, Germany’s largest privately owned brewery and the largest employer in Warstein.

The Warsteiner Internationale Montgolfiade was founded in 1986. Over the years since its inception, it has become the largest hot air balloon competition in Europe and the second largest festival in the region. Originally held every two years, the festival became an annual event in 1996. It takes place on the first weekend of September, attracting about 300 balloon teams from all over Europe and approximately 250,000 visitors.

The program of the Warsteiner Internationale Montgolfiade includes balloon launches that take place twice a day, in the morning and in the afternoon, special shape balloons, spectacular Night Glows, and ballooning competitions. The balloons take off at about 6.30 am and 5.30 pm, weather permitting. Night Glows are one of the main highlights of hot air balloon festivals. They involve tethered balloons that glow against the night sky, dancing to the music.

The festival also features live music, walks inside balloons, opening and closing fireworks displays, parties, family fun, special events, a closing bonfire, merchandise booths and stalls, beer tastings at the brewery, pin exchanges, and other attractions for visitors of all ages. Visitors can also take balloon, airship and helicopter rides (note that all rides should be booked in advance because spots are limited.

The Warsteiner Internationale Montgolfiade has a camping site with plenty of space for tents and trailers. Many festival-goers prefer camping to staying at a hotel not because its cheaper, but because it adds to the festival experience.

Warsteiner Internationale Montgolfiade

Photo: warsteiner-montgolfiade.com




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