International Hot Air Balloon festival floats back to High River this month

Sep 5 2018, 5:25 pm

Sure, nowadays we have planes, trains, automobiles, jet packs, drones, and adult tricycles, but there is one form of transportation that will never quite lose its charm: hot air balloons.

Just 45 minutes south of Calgary, High River is home to the Heritage Inn International Balloon Festival, a celebration of hot air balloons and the opportunity for us regular, stuck-on-the-ground folks to get a chance to see the big balloons in action.

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The best night to make the trip out is on Friday, September 28, because from 5 to 9 pm attendees can experience Balloon Night Glow, when hot air balloons will be lit up against the night sky.

Of course, no one wants to float away in the dark, so all the balloons are grounded for the Balloon Night Glow – though they will become airborne during competitive flight times throughout the festival.

The competition is not so much a race as it is a battle of navigational skills. Balloons need to complete tasks by arriving at specific locations in a set amount of time.

Food trucks will be on scene for the festival, which runs from Wednesday, September 26 to Saturday, September 29.

Heritage Inn International Balloon Festival

When: Wednesday, September 26, to Saturday, September 29

Time: A full schedule of the festival can be found here

Where: Heritage Inn – 1104 11th Avenue SE, High River

Launch site – 917 Macleod Trail SW

Balloon Night Glow – Spitzee Elementary School field – 409 Macleod Trail SW, High River

Admission: Free for spectators, and balloon flights are $250 per passenger, reservations available online