Dansville Hot Air Balloon Festival kicks off Labor Day weekend

DANSVILLE, NY (WROC) – Celebrate the end of summer with a breathtaking (and weather-dependent) view like no other at the 41st annual Dansville Hot Air Balloon Festival. The official NYC Hot Air Balloon Festival is a three-day extravaganza featuring flights, food, live music, and more.

The event will begin at 4 p.m. Friday at the Dansville Municipal Airport and continue 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, kiddie rides and games, and free performances by 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 head out at the same time. These will take place 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 hot air balloon flight with one of the pilots present. Spend between 30 and 60 minutes in the air in balloons such as Armadillo Sheriff, Going Batty III, and Mr. Winkle.

Rides are available for purchase the same day at the festival grounds, with all flights dependent on cooperative weather. Rides cost $245 per person and are fully refundable if canceled due to weather-related issues.

Those looking for a more economical experience are in luck, as captive rides are available for $15 per child or $20 per adult. These rides stay tethered to the ground, ascend between 80 and 100 feet in the air, and descend again after a few minutes.

The festival is organized and run solely by community volunteers, attracting over 30,000 visitors a year. Due to its size, the Dansville Balloon Festival was designated as the New York State Festival of Balloons in 1997.