Everyone knows you can enjoy a gentle, panoramic view of a ride in a hot air balloon – but did you know they also race them? Come to Harrison, AR on the weekend of September 9th through the 11th and see for yourself at the 2016 Arkansas Hot Air Balloon State Championship!
Also known as the Arkansas Balloon Festival, this unique event features numerous hot air balloon race competitions throughout the entire weekend. Two classic races will be held. A Hare and the Hound Race and two Key Grab races.
The Hare and the Hound Race involves a “Hare” balloon taking off while the “Hound” balloons race to see who can inflate quickest to give chase. The “Hound” balloon that gets closest to the “Hare” wins! This race is an exciting spectacle that you will not want to miss!
A Key Grab Race hot air balloon race involves balloonists floating from different locations towards a pole with a ring or “key” on it. The first balloonist to successfully grab the key wins. In the case of Sunday’s race, the prize is $20,000!
Attendees are invited to witness these beautiful races. Bring a blanket or some lawn chairs and your camera to make a day of it. You can also enjoy rides in a tethered balloon for only $5. Only a limited number of rides are available, though, so get in line early if you hope to experience a hot air balloon ride!
One of the most beautiful parts of the Arkansas Hot Air Balloon State Championship is the Balloon Glow show. Balloon Glow occurs after dusk or before dawn and involves the pilots firing their burners but not ascending. This causes the balloons to inflate and glow against the dark of the sky. Often the balloons are lit and then darkened in step with a musical score. A stunning display unlike anything you’ll see anywhere else.
Arkansas Hot Air Balloon State Championship Schedule
Friday, September 9
5:15pm – Pilot Briefing
6pm – The Hare and the Hound Race
Saturday, September 10
7am – Key Grab
6:30pm – Tethered Rides and Balloon Glow
Sunday, September 11
7am – Key Grab
All Balloon Events are subject to weather conditions.
The Arkansas Hot Air Balloon State Championship runs concurrently with CASA Kids Fest on Saturday, September 10th, 5pm to 9pm. This family-friendly festival includes inflatables, pony rides, live music, face painting, food, and fuun!
Arkansas Hot Air Balloon State Championship
Downtown Harrison, AR 72601
For more details: arkansasballoonfest.com
Arkansas Hot Air Balloon Lodging
Hot air balloons are beautiful and majestic – but you wouldn’t want to have to sleep in one! For more comfortable lodgings, book a stay at one of the many Arkansas Bed and Breakfast Inns. Nowhere else are you going to get this level of personal service, unheard of amenities, delicious, homemade breakfasts, and insiderâ€™s info on where to go and what to see. Book your stay at an Arkansas Bed and Breakfast Inn today!