FREE parking and lighted parking lots with be available for thousands of 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.
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:
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, and more available for purchase! Bags are subject to search.
Vendor information and applications will be up on this site soon. Please check back here regularly.
While the Hot Air Balloon Festival is a 3-day event, various fun packed events will happen all weekend for all ages including many non balloon related activities. Hot-Air Balloon Rides are at scheduled times* only. Tether rides happened throughout the weekend as well but are also at scheduled* times. Please be sure to check the festival schedule for when these events will happen. For more information on balloon flight times and safety please wikipedia.org/wiki/Hot_air_ballooning
Please be sure to review our schedule of activities so that you can best plan your visit and not miss out on all our amazing activities.
* Balloon launches/tether rides are at the sole discretion of their pilots and are contingent upon many weather permitting conditions, which is why their times are also approximate.
No pets are allowed at 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.
Feel free to bring folding chairs and blankets, just please be courteous to the balloonists and other visitors.
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.
The Hudson Valley Hot-Air Balloon Festival includes much more than just the balloon launches. We asked our Balloonist pilots to stay and answer questions from the crowd. Tethered Hot-Air Balloon Rides will be offered at scheduled times throughout the festival (wind and weather permitting).
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!
More information will be posted on this site when available.
Tether Rides will also be available for a CASH ONLY fee per person the day of the festival.
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.
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.
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 deposit will be refunded.
A tether tide is where a balloon is secured to the ground via rope, often tied to vehicles that lasts about 5-7 minutes. The balloon then lifts off the ground to the limit of the rope and then slowly descends. Tether Rides are available at a cost per person (CASH ONLY) on site.
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. Check out our About Us page for pictures of a Moon Glow.
The first takeoff during the morning launches is slated for approximately 6 AM. All evening launches are scheduled for approximately 6 PM. Hot-Air Balloon Illumination Moon Glow will begin after dark. Safety is our top priority. All launches are wind and weather dependent. For more information on balloon flight times and safety please wikipedia.org/wiki/Hot_air_ballooning
To avoid thermal activity during the day, Hot-Air Balloons launch at sunrise and approximately two hours before sunset as a safety precaution. All times are approximate as current weather conditions must be taken into consideration for your safety. For more information on industry standards and safe hot air balloon practices, check out the flight times section here: wikipedia.org/wiki/Hot_air_ballooning
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.
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.
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.
Not typically. Balloons float with the wind, so cannot easily change direction to travel in a circle.
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. We will have many events during our festival, and while our festival lasts 3 days - Balloon launches are at scheduled times only. We will have tether rides throughout the festival as well at scheduled times.
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 Social media postings throughout the festival.
For more information on industry standards and safe hot-air balloon practices, check out: wikipedia.org/wiki/Hot_air_ballooning
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 our Social media pages. 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. For more information on standards and safety for hot-air balloons including launch times, please visit: wikipedia.org/wiki/Hot_air_ballooning
You bet we do! Please post it to our any of our social pages and share it with #HVBalloon
For any and all questions, you may contact the Chamber by emailing Chelsea@dcrcoc.org or by calling 845.474.1700 x 1000. Our social media accounts will be updated regularly. Feel free to post your questions there, so others can benefit from the answer too. During the festival we encourage you to share posts with #HVBalloon