The South Baldwin Chamber of Commerce proudly announces the forthcoming eighth annual Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival beginning on Friday June 15 at 2:00 P.M., and ending on Sunday June 17 at 10:00 A.M. They are expecting about 50 balloonists from across the country to participate in this festival. This event normally draws some 80,000 visitors and after the great recovery from the Oil Spill of 2010, it is likely that more will attend this year. It is a special event scheduled on Father’s Day weekend each year.
“Early morning flight’s (approx. 6 a.m.) is the best time to see balloons. It’s definitely worth getting up early to see balloons fly overhead, trying to hit competition targets on the Festival grounds. Balloons are also scheduled to fly at dusk (approx. 7 p.m.) on Friday and Saturday night. Ballooning is extremely weather dependent. Winds must be less than 10 knots for balloons to fly. Listen to WHEP 1310 AM or 92.5 FM for the latest on flight information. For weather and wind conditions in Foley, AL visit the weather site.” (South Baldwin Chamber of Commerce website)
There are many things to do during this festival in addition to watching the balloons fire up and float above.
Children can enjoy inflatables, children’s interactive entertainment, reptile displays, and face painting just to name a few! These fun activities are located in the free, gated Children’s Village open 2 p.m. – 8 p.m. on Friday, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. on Saturday and 8 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. on Sunday. (Ibid)
There will also be an interactive Hot Air Balloon display on the soccer field each day. A Balloon envelope will be inflated horizontally allowing children the opportunity to walk around, explore and play inside the hot air balloon in a safe environment.
Please be aware, there are some safety rules which must be taken, no smoking is allowed on the festival grounds while the balloons are present. No pets or animals will be allowed on the festival grounds except for service dogs. The noise from the firing up of the balloons frighten many animals.
Coolers, bottles or food will not be allowed on the festival grounds. Refreshments and snacks can be had at convenient concession stands.
Campers and RVs cannot be parked on the festival grounds, however there are several camper options nearby. Click here for a complete list.
“Guests enjoy free, fun entertainment featuring something for every member of your family. Spread out your blanket, grab an ice cold drink and enjoy a variety of live music daily, from country to rock and roll. Be sure to catch one of the many shows by the Disc Connected K-9 Frisbee Dog Show. Toss after toss you will be amazed as man’s best friend defies gravity catching their prized flying saucers.
“Pet a baby alligator, dance like a butterfly to fun kid’s tunes, paint your face like a tiger or try a little family friendly game of limbo. The free children’s village offers hours of fun for any age.
“Grab an ice cream cone or snack on popcorn as you stroll through our Arts & Crafts Village and Retail Marketplace featuring local crafters, artisans, and retailers. View daily demonstrations from crafters and chefs, find a one of kind piece of art, or grab a souvenir.” (Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival webpage)
Admission to these events is free. If you would like to purchase any festival merchandise, check the available items on the merchandise page.