2017 Carolina BalloonFest
When is Carolina BalloonFest?
3rd full Weekend each October!
FRIDAY October 20, 2017
Gate Time: Open 3 PM ~ Close 8:30 PM
SATURDAY October 21, 2017
Gate Time: Open 7 AM ~ Close 8:30 PM
SUNDAY October 22, 2017
Gate Time: Open 7 AM ~ Close 6 PM
Will I see hot air balloons throughout the day?
Hot Air Balloon Flights are scheduled to launch only twice daily; early morning & late afternoon. Tether Rides are scheduled various times throughout the day(s).
There are 5 flights scheduled throughout the 3-day weekend.
All ballooning activities including static display, tethered rides and balloon flights are weather dependent. The decision to inflate hot air balloons is made just prior to the scheduled ballooning activity. Individual pilots may opt out, if safety concerns and/or unfavorable weather conditions exist.
It's a hot air balloon festival & we make every best effort to showcase our gentle giants for festival guests!
How does the Flight Director communicate flight conditions to everyone? The “Balloonmeister” and pilots use a flag system which is near the launch field.
What do the flags on the launch field mean? RED means that the field is closed for free flight. YELLOW means flights are on hold. GREEN means the field is open for free flight.
What is the difference between an Ascension and a Fly Over on the festival Schedule?
Pilots prepare to inflate their balloons and ascend from the festival field during an Ascension. Three weekend ascensions are scheduled. The launch window on Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons is between 4-5:30 PM.
Two weekend Fly Overs are scheduled. The Saturday and Sunday morning launch window is 8-9:30 AM. Pilots launch their balloons from strategic locations around the Statesville area and navigate the winds to Fly Over the festival field while guests watch the pilots accomplish competition tasks on the field. Read more about hot air balloon competitions below.
All ballooning activities including static display, tethered rides and balloon flights are weather dependent. The decision to inflate hot air balloons is made just prior to the scheduled ballooning activity.
What are 2017 Ticket Prices?
To be announced. Advance tickets on sale August 15th... Please visit TICKETS page.
How do I Book A Ride for a Hot Air Balloon Flight?
Please visit our Hot Air Balloons page for information to Book A Ride direct with a participating pilot.
What are additional festival attractions throughout each day?
Please visit our Festival Attractions page & Schedule of Events page for entertainment & daily attractions between early morning & late afternoon hot air balloon launches!
About Tether Rides
1-2 tether balloons and a walk in balloon will be on display & offer rides through experience throughout Saturday & Sunday, between flight launch windows and when weather permits. LEARN MORE >
What is cost of a Tethered Balloon Ride & Walk In?
$5 ~ Cash only Children; Age 10 & younger accompanied w/Adult
$10 ~ Cash only Adults; Age 11 & older
$2 ~ Walk in Balloon
LEARN MORE >
May I bring my dog or pet?
No. Pets are not permitted.
May I bring a cooler with food & drinks?
Coolers will not be permitted beyond the gates.
What is Allowed?
Bring cameras, lawn chairs and blankets to bask in the beautiful Carolina autumn weather.
What is NOT Permitted? Pets, coolers, weapons, drones, pop-up canopies, large umbrellas.
Are Vendor opportunities available?
Our 2017 Vendor opportunities to be announced.
How do I register to Volunteer?'
To be announced.
Where are lodging locations in the Greater Statesville area?
Discover Lodging & Camping and much more about Statesville at
VisitStatesville.org or search Trivago.
Lost & Found. Guest Services tent at the festival.
About Hot Air Balloons & Flights
Why do flights take place only in the morning and the late afternoon?
Balloons need stable winds to operate effectively and the hours just following sunrise and approximately 2 hours before sunset are the best for finding these winds. Since balloons move with the air, the weather is very important in deciding whether or not to fly. The pilot chooses a launch site to use the wind currents to fly towards a suitable landing site. A balloon flies better in cooler weather, as the hot air gets a better ‘lift’.
How is the balloon inflated?
When the time comes to put the balloon up, the envelope is removed from the bag and laid out in a long line. The burners are attached to the uprights, and the basket is attached to the cables on the bottom of the envelope. An engine driven fan is used to inflate the envelope with cold air. When partially inflated, the air is heated by a burner and the envelope rises above the basket. With further heating, there is sufficient 'lift' for the balloon to fly.
What kind of fuel is used for the burners?
To heat the air, the burners are fueled by propane gas, much the same as you probably use in your backyard barbecue grill. The burners do not run continuously; they are only used intermittently to heat the air to maintain the required lift.
How large are hot air balloons?
Most balloons are larger than your house. They hold from 19,000 to 211,000 cubic feet of air and loom from 50 to 100 feet tall. The average balloon height is 70 feet.
How far do balloons fly?
Again...it depends on the wind speed. Hot Air Balloons travel with the wind and an hour flight can carry it up to 15 miles, sometimes more, sometimes less. The balloon also flies at different altitudes. Although the balloon is at the mercy of the wind when it comes to direction, the vertical control of a balloon can be very precise. It is not unusual for our pilots to be able to brush the bottom of the basket across the tops of brush, or inches from the ground A leaf picked from a treetop is a very worthwhile souvenir of the flight!
How high do balloons fly?
Most balloonists enjoy low level flight. The typical balloon flight would be anywhere from tree level to about 3,000 feet above the ground.
How does the chase crew know where they are?
Radios are used to stay in contact with the chase crew as well as with Air Traffic Control and other aircraft flying in the vicinity.
Who can fly a balloon?
The Federal Aviation Administration issues a Balloon Pilot Certificate to candidates who pass an FAA written examination, obtain a prescribed number of hours in a balloon, make a solo flight to altitude, pass a flight test, and submit a medical statement.
How does a pilot steer a balloon?
A hot air balloon goes wherever the wind takes it. However, pilots can seek higher or lower altitudes to find wind currents of various directions – another form of sailing!
What are the best conditions for flight in a balloon?
A balloon flies better in cooler weather since the hot air gets a better "lift." Balloonists usually fly just after dawn or before dusk, because there is less wind at these times.
Is it cold in a balloon?
At high altitude, it is colder than at ground level, generally 3.5 degrees colder for each 1,000 feet of altitude.
What kind of fabric is the balloon made of?
The colorful envelope is usually made of nylon or polyester, the same type of cloth that parachutes are made of. It is very tightly woven and is coated with a material that makes it very air tight. The nylon is only used to keep the hot air in the balloon. The basket load is transferred by steel or Kevlar cables to a series of vertical load tapes which carry the load. Balloons range in size from about 54,000 cubic feet for a one- or two-person balloon to over 250,000 cubic feet for a balloon capable of carrying a pilot plus eight or ten passengers.
Why is the basket made of wicker?
The wicker basket has proven to be very strong for its weight and is flexible. The wicker is sometimes woven around a steel or aluminum frame, which helps to support the upright posts upon which the burner is mounted. The top rim of the basket and the uprights are usually padded and covered in suede or leather.
ReVisit Carolina BalloonFest Events
2011-2015 Carolina BalloonFest History Gallery
Learn More About Hot Air Ballooning
Rain or Shine... Carolina BalloonFest is open October 19-21, 2018!
Hot Air Balloon Flights are scheduled twice daily; early morning & late afternoon. All ballooning activities including static display, tethered rides and balloon flights are weather dependent. The decision to inflate hot air balloons is made just prior to the scheduled ballooning activity. Due to limited entrance points into our festival, guests are encouraged to purchase advance tickets and plan to PARK by 1 PM to attend late afternoon launches. Tickets are non-refundable.
National Balloon Rally Charities, Inc. is an incorporated 501(c)(3) charitable organization and all contributions are tax deductible. A portion of proceeds raised through Carolina BalloonFest and Carolina Roots MusicFest is distributed to local nonprofit organizations. PO Box 267 ~ Statesville NC 28687