Forget Albuquerque, Check Out the Adirondack Balloon Festival

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The annual Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, New Mexico, draws in many visitors every October. This amazing event should be on every RVer’s bucket list. But if you live on the East Coast, consider heading to New York State to enjoy the Adirondack Balloon Festival next year. 

You have beautiful surrounding landscapes and colorful balloons that light up the sky, creating a magical atmosphere for three or four days. Let’s learn more about this event!

Where Is the Adirondack Balloon Festival?

The Floyd Bennett Memorial Airport in Queensbury, New York, hosts this festival. In 2023, the festival celebrates its 50th anniversary.

The airport sits just north of Glens Falls and Hudson Falls in eastern New York. Albany sits about 58 miles south. The New York-Vermont border at Granville is about 24 miles east.

When Is the Adirondack Balloon Festival?

In 2023, the Adirondack Balloon Festival happens September 20 through 24. The event kicks off at the Hiland Park Country Club with a cocktail party and moon glow from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 20th. The country club sits about five miles from the airport.

On Thursday, September 21, a parade begins at 4:00 p.m., and the opening ceremonies commence at 5:00 p.m. The Adirondack Balloon Festival ends on Sunday morning with a mass ascension of hot air balloons around 7:00 a.m.

What Is the Adirondack Balloon Festival?

The Adirondack Balloon Festival was first held in the 1970s when Warren County’s tourism and publicity office was trying to find a way to bring tourists to the area. Because there were few hot air balloon events in the country, the Adirondack Balloon Festival was born, with Adirondack Community College hosting the event in the early years.

As the festival grew, the staff moved the event to the airport, where the festival has been held ever since.

Balloonists from all over the country, as well as some international pilots, join in the festivities every year. Around 100,000 people now attend the Adirondack Balloon Festival over the four days.

Guests enjoy shopping among the vendors at the craft fair, listening to live music and entertainment, and participating in the balloon launches throughout the festival.

Tips for Attending the Adirondack Balloon Festival

The Adirondack Balloon Festival is a popular event in the Northeast. Expect to deal with heavy traffic and crowds. Try to arrive as early as possible, but travel with the expectation that you’ll be in traffic lines no matter what time of day you get out.

Also, leave pets at home as they’re not permitted. Visit the vendor booths and support local businesses and artisans. You’ll find handmade crafts as well as commercial items for sale.

Finally, book a balloon ride in advance because tickets will sell out. Several pilots offer rides for visitors. You can find out more online. This unique experience allows you to soar above the treetops and surrounding cityscapes.

Keep in Mind: After you’re done at the Adirondack Balloon Festival, Live Out Your Fairytale Daydreams at These Castles in New York!

Can the Balloons Fly in Any Weather Condition?

Balloonists can only launch in certain weather conditions. If it’s rainy or windy, it’s unsafe for pilots. Wind speeds beyond 8 to 10 miles per hour are too strong for the hot air balloons.

If you’re uncertain if the festivities will happen because of the weather, check the Adirondack Balloon Festival’s Facebook page for updates.

Can Attendees Book Rides in the Balloons?

Only certain pilots offer balloon rides. These are booked independently and aren’t associated with the festival itself. Each pilot sets their price and hours, so contact the pilots directly for balloon rides.

Is Camping Allowed at the Festival?

You’ll find no camping at the Adirondack Balloon Festival. RVers can arrive at the festival for the day and park their RV, but no overnight parking is available.

If you want to camp, you must find accommodations outside the airport. Moose Hillock Camping Resorts sits about six miles from the airport and offers spacious full hookup sites for RVs of all sizes.

Lake George RV Park provides another option about seven miles from the airport. This resort-style park has bike trails, swimming pools, arcades, a fishing pond, a splash pad, movie theaters, and more.

Keep in Mind: Did You Know These Famous People Are From New Hampshire? Click to see who you recognize!

How Much Does It Cost to Attend?

The Adirondack Balloon Festival has always been free for guests. General parking is also free.

If you prefer VIP parking, you’ll get access to a separate entrance for easier accessibility. These passes are available through Warren County, not the festival itself.

The East Coast Has Its Own Hot Air Balloon Festival in the Adirondacks

If traveling to New Mexico is too far, consider an East Coast fall road trip to the Adirondacks. Book several weeks to enjoy the stunning fall foliage before returning home.

It’s a beautiful place this time of year. And the Adirondack Balloon Festival is a great way to kick off the fall season!

Have you ever visited Queensbury, New York, for the balloon festival?

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