Albuquerque New Mexico in the United States is famous for its hot air balloon festival. There are few sights more spectacular than hot air balloons floating over a beautiful desert landscape. This festival lasts just over a week and has several events that are scheduled. If you happen to be in New Mexico in October, then this would be a worthwhile festival to attend.
Also, in the United States is the Alabama Jubilee Hot Air Balloon Classic that is held during May each year on Memorial Day. A little later in July there is a balloon festival held in New Jersey. The QuickChek New Jersey Festival of Ballooning claims to be the largest balloon festival during the summer in the United States. This balloon festival also features live music and several planned events for all ages. It is held at Solberg Airport in Readington.
Reno Nevada hosts a hot air balloon race each year and is advertised as being the largest free hot air balloon event in the world. The Reno balloon race began in 1982 with just 20 balloons participating. Today this event which is held in September each year attracts about 100 balloons, and averages about 120,000 spectators.
Aside from the United States, there are several hot air balloons that are held each year in countries across Europe. One of these is the European Balloon Festival of Spain. This festival takes place every year over four days and is held in the city of Igualada in Catalonia, Spain. The festival has been held every year since its start in 1997 and often has balloonists from several different countries in attendance. They also have fireworks displays at nights and do offer rides to customers who book tickets in advance.
The Bristol International Balloon Festival is held over Ashton Court Estate in England for four days during August. What is especially great about this festival is that it is free. Most of the balloon festivals have some type of admission fee. However even though the actual festival is free you do have to pay for parking and book those tickets in advance. They usually have over 130 balloons from all over the world in attendance.
The Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival is held in Quebec Canada and has about 200,000 people who attend. Balloon rides are possible during the festival, and the festival is located right next to an amusement park in Gatineau which has various activities. There is also an RV campground, so people can drive their RVs and camp during the festival.
Europe and North America are not the only countries to host hot air balloon festivals. In fact, Penang Malaysia has a festival each year. The Penang Hot Air Balloon Fiesta is free except for certain activities such as a tethered balloon ride. Attending a hot air balloon festival would be a great deal of fun, and in some cases the admission fee is free. Some festivals even allow you to take a ride in a balloon, either free floating or tethered.