The Balloon Festival is one of the biggest events in Plano, bringing together approximately 100,000 people each year both local and from different parts of the country. This festival is held over 3 days (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) every September. This event provides a kaleidoscope of different colors and shapes of hot air balloons with a back drop of beautiful blue skies. It is a delightful visual feast. There is plenty to do in this festival during the three full day programs. There are food stalls involving around 40 vendors providing variety of food items. There is live entertainment provided by various bands and there are activities for kids also in a special “Kids Corner”. Of course the main attraction are the hot air balloons. You can view the preparation and lift off balloons of different colors and shapes. The night provides other opportunities, the Balloon Glow event and the fireworks. All in all the festival with all its variety is a great experience for all ages and a must see!
This year (2009) is the 30th anniversary of Plano Balloon Festival!
The Plano Balloon Festival is conveniently located at Oak Point Park. It is located on Spring Creek Parkway between Jupiter and Parker Road intersections. We were there to see the 2007 balloon festival and had parked near the First United Methodist Church and then walked to the Balloon launch viewing area on the side of the Collin County Community college. The following is the address:
Oak Point Park
2801 E. Spring Creek Parkway
Plano, Texas 75074
View Plano Balloon Festival in a larger map
The balloon launch is preceeded by an air show at 5:00 pm on all the days ( Friday, Saturday and Sunday). This is a special treat for the adventurous. The RE/MAX parachute team will be jumping from their plane over the park and land right in the middle of the launch field. Below are the photographs from the 2007 balloon festival. One of the sky divers was carrying a huge American flag and the whole crowd was cheering as he landed right in the middle of the park.
After the air show the balloon teams start preparing for the lift off. They lay down the balloon basket and the envelope on the ground and do all the preliminary checks. The ballon is partially inflated with the cold air from gas powered fan. Once the envelope is inflated, the burner is started and within minutes the basket rights itself and the pilot and passengers hop in to the basket while one of the crew members hold the tether. The the hot air from the burner fills up the envelope and.. 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5 , 4, 3, 2, 1, 0… Lift Off!!!
Balloons in Flight
It is beautiful sight to see different colors and shapes of balloons slowly lift off one after another. The crowd gets all excited and everybody is ready with their cameras to capture these memorable momments. The blue sky is slowly filled with the medley of vibrant colors of the balloons.
The hot air ballons come in all size and shapes which add to the fun for all ages. The kids really enjoy watching the special shapes of balloons. We were lucky to see the Woodrow C. Greenleaf, Felix the Cat, The Energizer Bunny, Miss Daisy, Pandy the Panda Bear, Airabelle the Cow and Chesire cat.
This year (2009), the special shapes will nclude: Darth Vader, High Jack, Miss Daisy, Oggy the Friendly Dragon, and Woodrow C. Greenleaf.
Friday and Saturday evening is the “Lite up the Night” event with the balloon glows. The balloons provide a breathtaking sight as they inflate and glow after it gets dark. This is a must see!
The burners light up the balloons and give them a flourescent colorful look in the dark. Initially the balloons are lighted up individually and towards the end there is coordinated glow show. At the count of 10 the burners of all the balloons are lit up and it is a delightful sight.
GO AND GLOW – PLANO ISD NIGHT…Every Plano ISD student and staff member pre-k thru 5th grade gets a FREE ticket to the festival for Friday Evening.
“To book a ride at this year’s festival contact Air Venture Balloon Port at 972-422-0212
Spectators will have an opportunity to purchase a balloon ride during the Festival Weekend. Flights will be offered on a first-come-first-serve basis and will be flown weather permitting, and at the individual pilot’s discretion.
Passengers must be over the age of 10 and in good health. If you are pregnant, recently released from the hospital, have current broken bones or casts you will not be able to qualify to purchase a ride. Passengers under the age of 18 must have parental permission or the parent must fly with them. Riders are accepted at the discretion of the ride operator. All passengers will be required to sign a release form provided by the Festival ride provider.
Ticket booth location: The ride booth will be located near the Main Entrance and will be open prior to each launch. If the flight purchased is unable to fly, the monies will be refunded. If a passenger wishes to fly at another time, the ticket for that flight will have to be purchased.
Projected Ride Cost: $250.00/person.” – Plano Ballon Festival Official Site
Saturday evening catch the BOOM, BANG, and SPECTACULAR Sight of the best firework show in town.
$5 per person 1-time admission
$8 per person day ticket – 2-time admission
$4 per person discounted admission 9:00AM – 3:00PM
$1 off for Seniors 65 and over
Kids under 36 inches – Free
Collin County Community College Spring Creek Campus
Oak Point Recreation Center – Jupiter and Spring Creek Parkway
First United Methodist Church – Parker and Spring Creek Parkway
$10.00 per car plus per person entrance fee
Limited Handicap Parking Available
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