DANSVILLE, N.Y. (WROC) — Celebrate the end of summer by enjoying a breathtaking (and weather-dependent) view like no other at the 41st annual Dansville Balloon Festival. The official hot air balloon festival of New York is a three-day extravaganza offering flights, food, live music, and more.
The event kicks off Friday at 4 p.m. at the Dansville Municipal Airport, and runs until 8 a.m. Monday.
Admission to the festival is $5 per person, with children under 12 free. This includes access to over 100 arts and crafts vendors, an “international” food court, a car show, rides and games for children, as well as free performances from regional musicians. Lawn chairs and blankets are encouraged. Coolers, alcohol, pets, and drones are not allowed.
There are six scheduled launches when all aircraft owners will be heading up at once. These will occur at the following times:
- Friday, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
- Saturday 6 a.m. to 8 a.m.
- Saturday 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
- Sunday 6 a.m. to 8 a.m.
- Sunday 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
- Monday 6 a.m. to 8 a.m.
See the full schedule of events on their website.
The most exciting (and expensive) attraction of the day is a private balloon ride with one of the attending pilots. Spend between 30-60 minutes up in the air, floating over the valley in balloons such as Armadillo Sheriff, Going Batty III, Mr. Winkle, and more.
Rides are available for purchase the day of on festival grounds, with all flights contingent on cooperative weather. Rides are $245 per person, and fully refundable if canceled due to weather-related issues.
Those looking for a more economical experience are in luck, as tethered rides are available for $15 per child, or $20 per adult. These rides remain tethered to the ground, go up between 80 and 100 feet in the air, and come down again after a few minutes.
The festival is organized and staffed solely by community volunteers, drawing over 30,000 visitors annually. Due to its size, the Dansville Balloon Festival was designated as the New York State Festival of Balloons in 1997.