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  • Hudson Valley Hot-Air Balloon Festival FAQ's

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  • Is there a cost to attend the Balloon Festival at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds? Is there a cost to attend the Balloon Festival at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds?

    Friday:

    Advance Ticket Online $10.00 Per Person

    At the Gate $10.00 Per Person

    At the Gate Senior and Military Discount $7.00 Per Person (Discount Friday at the Gate Only)

    Saturday:

    Advance Ticket Online $10.00 Per Person

    At the Gate $13.00 Per Person

    Sunday:

    Advance Ticket Online $10.00 Per Person

    At the Gate $13.00 Per Person

    • All Weekend Access Pass: $23.00 Per Person (can be used all three days and purchased online only)
    • Admission for children under age 3 is FREE.
    • Advance sale tickets can be used on Friday, Saturday or Sunday.  
    • All sales are final. No returns, exchanges, or refunds. No exceptions.
    • Parking is always free.
  • Will there be parking available? Will there be parking available?

    Yes, there is FREE parking and lighted parking lots for up to 15,000 cars! Please follow posted signs and/or volunteer instructions to find parking. Handicapped parking is available: Follow the signs to the south east lot closest to Main Gate #1. Please have your state issued disabled parking permit visible. A parking attendant is on duty to provide assistance.

  •  Can I bring a cooler/picnic with me? Can I bring a cooler/picnic with me?

    No, outside food and beverages will not be allowed at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds. There will be plenty of food trucks, food and retail vendors, concessions, a Craft Tap Tent, tastings, and more available for purchase! Bags are subject to search.

  • What about chairs and blankets to sit? What about chairs and blankets to sit?

    Feel free to bring folding chairs and blankets, just please be courteous to the balloonists and other visitors.

  • What should I wear? What should I wear?

    The Dutchess County Fairgrounds is mostly on grass, so it might be muddy and/or dusty. We suggest all visitors should dress appropriately including wearing sturdy, closed-toe footwear and clothes you won’t mind getting dirty. The use of bug and tick repellent and sunscreen is STRONGLY recommended.

  • Are there any prohibited items? Are there any prohibited items?

    The Dutchess Fairgrounds strives to produce a fun and safe family event. In so doing, the Dutchess Fairgrounds must enforce prohibited items and behaviors. A bag search will be conducted during entrance to Fairgrounds. Listed below are some of the common prohibited items and behavior, but does not limit itself to the following:

    • Pets are not allowed (All service dogs must have PROOF of rabies vaccination to enter the grounds)
    • Bicycles, scooters, skateboards, rollerblades, heelies, segways, and golf carts, are not allowed
    • No outside food or beverages
    • Cans, bottles or coolers are not allowed
    • No outside alcohol
    • No Drones
    • No firearms, knives and weapons of any kind
    • Shirts and shoes are required at all times
  • How do I become a Vendor? How do I become a Vendor?

    For complete information on being a vendor, click the HERE.

  • Can I bring my pet(s) with me? Can I bring my pet(s) with me?

    No Pets Allowed on the fairgrounds at any time.

    Service Dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for persons with disabilities will be admitted. ***All service dogs must have PROOF of rabies vaccination to enter the grounds. Do Not Leave Your Dog in the Car. Any dog left in a vehicle will be turned over to the local authorities/ dog warden at the expense of the owner.

  • Can I ride in a balloon? Can I ride in a balloon?

    Yes! A limited number of (weather and wind dependent) balloon rides are available for a fee. All passengers must be tall enough to see over the side of the basket (approximately 48-inches). Basket size varies from balloon-to-balloon; therefore riders may not be able to ride together. Passengers should dress in comfortable clothing and closed-toe footwear. The temperature might vary only a couple of degrees from the ground temperature. In the past, balloon rides have been used for engagements, weddings, client rewards, birthday/graduation gifts and more. Don't miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime experience!

    Click HERE for complete information.

    Tether Rides will also be available for a CASH ONLY fee of $20 per person the day of the festival. 

  • How much does a balloon ride cost? How much does a balloon ride cost?

    Morning rides are $250 per person and afternoon rides are $275 per person. A $50 per person, non-refundable deposit will be charged at the time of registration. You will need to purchase admission tickets. You must show ID and all passengers will need to sign a Liability Waiver at check-in at The Balloon Ride Tent. The balance due should be paid (CASH ONLY) to the pilot. All sales are final. No refunds, transfers or exchanges, no exceptions.

  • How long are the rides? How long are the rides?

    A typical balloon adventure is approximately three hours from set-up through pack-up with the actual flight lasting approximately 45 minutes. You will also enjoy a champagne toast with your pilot and crew and then be returned to the launch site in your balloon’s chase vehicle. Signing up for a balloon flight does not guarantee you will fly, as flights are completely dependent on weather. ALL BALLOONS TAKE OFF AT THE DISCRETION OF THE PILOT.

  • Where do I go to check-in for my ride? Where do I go to check-in for my ride?

    ALL passengers MUST check-in at the Balloon Ride Tent with ID, pay the balance due (CASH ONLY) and sign the liability waiver. Please plan to arrive roughly an hour prior to the scheduled launch time to ensure you see the balloon inflate and rise. Traffic may cause significant delays, please plan accordingly. Refunds will NOT be issued for missed rides due to late arrival.

  • My launch didn’t happen, what do I do? My launch didn’t happen, what do I do?

    If your launch is cancelled for any reason, if there is room at a later launch, you will be asked to try and reschedule at check-in the day of the canceled launch. If, at the end of the weekend, NONE of the launches were successful, the $50 deposit will be refunded.

  • What is a Tether Ride? What is a Tether Ride?

    A Tether Ride is where a balloon is secured to the ground via rope, often tied to vehicles. The balloon then lifts off the ground to the limit of the rope and then slowly descends. Tether Rides are available for $20 per person (CASH ONLY) on site.

  • What is a Hot-Air Balloon Illumination Moon Glow? What is a Hot-Air Balloon Illumination Moon Glow?

    The Moon Glow will be a stationary display on Friday and Saturday nights. After dark, weather and wind permitting, a few balloons will fire their burners.  When the burners are fired, it makes the balloon glow. We recommend bringing a flashlight for the walk to and from your car.

  • Where are the balloons before the launch? Where are the balloons before the launch?

    The Hudson Valley Hot-Air Balloon Festival includes much more than just the balloon launches. This year, we've asked our Balloonist pilots to stay and answer questions from the crowd. Tethered Hot-Air Balloon Rides will be offered ALL DAY throughout the festival (wind and weather permitting).

  • What time do the balloons launch? What time do the balloons launch?

    The first takeoff during the morning launches is slated for 6 a.m. All evening launches are scheduled for 6 p.m. Majestic Hot-Air Balloon Illumination Moon Glow ​will begin after dark. All launches are wind and weather dependent.

  •  Why are the launches scheduled for 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.? Why are the launches scheduled for 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.?

    To avoid thermal activity during the day, Hot-Air Balloons launch at sunrise and approximately two hours before sunset as a safety precaution. 

  • Where do the balloons go? Where do the balloons go?

    Wind determines a balloon’s direction. Balloons simply float with the wind. The pilot can control the balloon’s altitude to find a wind going in the desired direction, but you cannot fly upwind or crosswind.​

  • Where will the balloon land? Where will the balloon land?

    Balloons simply float with the wind. Preflight planning ensures the pilot knows which way the balloon will be traveling, and the pilot makes sure there are plenty of suitable landing sites downwind.

  •  If we fly, how do we get back to the launch site/our car? If we fly, how do we get back to the launch site/our car?

    A chase crew follows along in a van or truck. The chase crew is in radio contact with the pilot, so they can be there when the balloon lands (or soon afterward). You will be returned to the launch site in your balloon’s chase vehicle.

  • Will the balloons float back to the launch site? Will the balloons float back to the launch site?

    Not typically. Balloons float with the wind, so cannot easily change direction to travel in a circle.

  • Why wouldn’t a launch happen? Why wouldn’t a launch happen?

    ALL BALLOONS TAKE OFF AT THE SOLE DISCRETION OF THE PILOT. Sometimes, due to impending weather, wind, or other conditions, balloons will launch early, late or not at all.

    Please plan to arrive an hour prior to the scheduled launch time to ensure you see the balloons inflate and rise. Allow extra time for traffic. Up-to-the-minute information about launch times, including delays will be available via the Hudson Valley Hot-Air Balloon Festival Facebook and the Chamber's Twitter postings throughout the festival.

  •  In case of inclement weather, how will I know if balloons are launching? In case of inclement weather, how will I know if balloons are launching?

    As soon as any decision is made on the cancellation of balloon launches, information will be immediately posted to the Balloon Festival website as well as on Facebook and Twitter. ALL DECISIONS TO CANCEL OR PROCEED WITH BALLOON LAUNCHES ARE SOLELY THOSE OF THE PILOTS. Remember, numerous factors contribute to unsafe conditions for ballooning including rain, wind, lightning, etc.

  • I got a great photo of the balloons; do you want to see it? I got a great photo of the balloons; do you want to see it?

    You bet we do! Please post it to our TwitterFacebook or Balloon Festival Pinterest pages or share it on Instagram.

  • Are there hotels nearby? Are there hotels nearby?

    Yes! We recommend The Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel, but visit the Chamber’s Business Directory for a complete list of local hotels and motels. We suggest booking your room early!

  • Are there restaurants nearby? Are there restaurants nearby?

    Yes! Visit the Chamber’s Business Directory for a complete list of local restaurants, cafés, and diners. The Hudson Valley is also home to The Culinary Institute of America and you will find some of the finest cuisine in the world served there. 

  • Are there other things to do nearby? Are there other things to do nearby?

    Yes! Visit our partner, Dutchess Tourism, Inc. or check out the Chamber’s Community Calendar for a list of local attractions and happenings.

  • I have a specific question, who should I contact? I have a specific question, who should I contact?

    For any and all questions you may contact the Chamber by emailing Chelsea@dcrcoc.org

  • Is there a phone number I can call with questions? Is there a phone number I can call with questions?

    The AT & T Hudson Valley Hot-Air Balloon Festival Hotline powered by Central Hudson Gas & Electric is (845) 454-1701. The Facebook and Twitter accounts will also be updated regularly. Feel free to ask your questions there so others can benefit from the answer, too.

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