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August 7, 2017 / Millerann Moya / , , , / Comments

Taking to the Skies: 38th Annual Plano Balloon Festival

Each September, Plano hosts the magic and majesty of ballooning during the largest balloon festival in Texas.

Forty-five balloons will take to the sky Sept. 22-24 for the 38th annual 2017 InTouch Credit Union Plano Balloon Festival at Oak Point Park. The festival features five balloon launches at 6 p.m. Friday, and 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday (weather permitting). You can also experience breathtaking views of the illuminated balloons against the dark sky during the evening balloon glows (weather permitting) on Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. 

Plano balloonFor the second year, we are excited to showcase Plano’s new 2016 Cameron XL-70 racer hot air balloon named “Excellence”. Learn more about “Excellence” here.

What To See & Do

Other activities include daily parachuting shows, live entertainment on the KLUV Main Stage, a Saturday night fireworks show (weather permitting), performing arts on the KDFW Fox 4 Community Stage and more. The family-friendly Central Market Kids Fun Zone features inflatable rides, berry-go-round, Toddler Zone, and a free Kids Korner offering make-and-take art activities. Little ones can get their face painted and explore music at the Plano Symphony Orchestra instrument area.

Tethered rides will also be available! A tethered ride is when the balloon lifts off the ground, hovers 20-30 feet above the ground for several minutes, but does not launch and fly away. Rides will be offered Friday evening, Saturday morning, Saturday evening, Sunday morning, and Sunday evening, weather permitting on a first come first serve basis and at the individual pilot’s discretion. Two balloons will be doing tethered rides, and both baskets can accommodate 4-6 people t(depending on height and weigh). Tickets will only be available for purchase onsite (cash only). Adults are $25 and children between 6-12 years old are $15. For more information, click here.

No one can ever leave Plano hungry and the Plano Balloon Festival does not disappoint! There are over 40 food vendors from BBQ and fresh-squeezed lemonade to funnel cakes and gelato; there is something for everyone.

Run off all the festival food during the two-day running events! Saturday morning features the festival’s 5K and 1K fun run/walk and the half marathon and relay is Sunday morning. Registered runners receive two festival tickets and parking on race day. Get out the running shoes and head over to online registration. You have until noon on Sept. 22 to register for the 5K and 1K races and noon on Sept. 23 for the half marathon relay.

Live Music

Plano local band, Limelight, will kick-off the festival weekend, on the KLUV Main Stage presented by Direct Energy, on Friday at 4 p.m. and will give two additional performances at 7 p.m. and 8:45 p.m.

Moving Colors is a native Dallas dance band made up of 10 members. Their upbeat music spans generations and is suitable for all ages who want to dance and experience a phenomenal stage show.  Moving Colors is booked for three shows on the KLUV Main Stage presented by Verizon on Saturday at 7 p.m.8:30 p.m., and 9:30 p.m.

Details

The festival celebration opens at 4 p.m. Friday and 6 a.m. Saturday and Sunday and will close at 7 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $5 per person. Seniors 65 years and older receive a $1 discount, and children under 36 inches are admitted free. Online ticket sales begin September 1. You may also purchase tickets at the gate. 

Parking is available at Collin College Spring Creek Campus, Oak Point Recreation Center, First United Methodist Church and Community Unitarian Universalist Church for $10 per car. Offsite parking is available at Plano Event Center for $5 per car. Park & Ride shuttles are available for $10 per car at Collin Creek Church. You can also hop on the “Balloon Flyer” from the DART Parker Road Station. Buses will run continuously during festival operating hours.

Need to book your weekend stay? See a complete list of hotels in Plano here. Take advantage of these special balloon festival hotel packages:

Courtyard Dallas Plano/Richardson
1805 East President George Bush Highway
Plano, TX 75074
972-516-2949

Residence Inn Dallas Plano/Richardson
1705 East President George Bush Highway
Plano, TX 75074
972-424-9101

Click here for more information about the festival.

Cover photo: Plano Balloon Festival, Inc.
Nighttime balloon glow photo: Plano Balloon Festival, Inc.
City of Plano Balloon photo: Plano Balloon Festival, Inc.
Live music photo: David Downs
Balloons in the sky photo: David Downs

Plano Balloon Festival