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​Balloon flights and displays are weather dependent, taking place only at dusk and dawn when conditions permit.

We want you to enjoy the best festival experience possible.

Check out the responses to these frequently asked questions and helpful event tips.

When do balloons fly?

Balloons fly early in the morning (around dawn) and late in the afternoon (around dusk). All flights are weather dependent. Balloons can only fly in perfect weather, including wind speeds of 7mph or less. See the full schedule on the main Balloon Festival page for this year’s planned flight times.

When do you decide whether balloons will fly?

Our experienced Balloon-Meister monitors weather conditions right up until scheduled flight times to ensure flight safety, which is always our number-one priority. Variations of wind speeds at various altitudes, as well as other weather conditions, cannot be pinpoint-forecast for our specific flight locations in advance. Therefore, they must be monitored up until scheduled flight time, when a final determination is made.

 

What are tethered balloon rides?

The balloons are tethered to the ground and rise up to about 50 feet, or less, into the air depending on wind speed. Ticket holders can meet the pilot, climb into the balloon and rise above the crowd. Tethered rides require a ticket and a signed waiver of liability (available onsite).

Are my tickets for the Tethered Balloon Rides refundable?

No, tickets to tethered balloon rides are non-refundable. Rides are weather permitting and our experienced Balloon-Meister monitors weather conditions right up until scheduled flight times to ensure flight safety.

Can I buy tickets the day of the festival?

Yes, a LIMITED amount of tickets are sold the day of the festival. Tickets are first come first serve. The price is $15 for ages 13 and under and $20 for ages 14 and up. They can be purchased at the Merch Tent or Merch Booth.

Where should I look for weather updates?

You can download the UAV Forecast app to see what a Balloonist is looking at to decide if they can fly. Stay tuned to our social media pages for event updates!

The weather seems fine. Why can’t the balloons fly?

Balloons fly best in stable winds of 4-6 miles per hour and clear visibility. Even though it may seem like wonderful weather on the ground, our experienced Balloon-Meister has access to weather conditions in the air and must follow the protocol for the safety of the passengers and pilot.

Why are balloons not visible during the day?

Hot air balloons do not inflate during the day because when surface winds are calm, hot air balloon pilots can control the altitude of the balloon very finely by heating or venting the air inside. During the day these light surface winds are broken up by “thermals.” These are rising columns of warm air that spiral skywards, caused by the heating effect of the sun on the ground. Birds and glider pilots love them but for a hot air balloon; thermals make it very difficult to control the balloon. So the warmer the day the greater the possibility of thermals. This is the reason that dusk and dawn are the most optimal times to inflate.

 

How many people can ride during a tethered balloon ride?

Tethered balloon rides are based on weight, and the pilot will make the final decision. Usually two adults can ride at a time, weather permitting.

Is there an age requirement to ride a tethered balloon ride?

No, there is no age limit to ride a tethered balloon ride. ALL riders MUST purchase a tethered balloon ride ticket to be allowed in the balloon.

How do I get to the festival?

The festival grounds are located at the Forrest County Multi-Purpose Center.

I’m traveling from out of town, what is the weather like for the tethered balloon rides?

Tethered balloon rides are weather permitting and our experienced Balloon-Meister monitors weather conditions right up until scheduled flight times to ensure flight safety.

What about Parking?

Parking & Admission is FREE. 

Can I bring my pet to the festival?

Pets are not allowed on the festival grounds.

 

Can we bring a cooler/snacks/drinks?

We apologize, but outside food and drink are prohibited. We have lots of great food vendors! Hope to see you soon.

Is smoking allowed at the festival?

Smoking is not allowed on the festival grounds. 

Can I fly my drone at the festival?

No, drones are not permitted during the festival for safety of our pilots and their balloons.

Let’s RISE Together

If you have any unanswered questions, feel free to contact us and ask us! We should be able to get back to you by email very soon! This Festival is a fundraiser for our faith-based nonprofit, RISE, with the mission to help others RISE to self-sufficiency through Education, Empowerment, and Encouragement.

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