UPDATE: For 2017 event information, click here.
Each September, Plano hosts the magic and majesty of ballooning during the largest balloon festival in Texas.
About 50 balloons will take to the sky Sept. 23-25 for the 37th annual 2016 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. You can also experience breathtaking views of the illuminated balloons against the dark sky during the evening balloon glows on Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.
This year we are excited to showcase Plano’s new 2016 Cameron XL-70 racer hot air balloon named “Excellence”. Get a first look at the 700 pound and 6.5 stories tall racing balloon for yourself at this year’s festival!
Other activities include daily skydiving shows, live entertainment on the KLUV Main Stage, a Saturday night fireworks show, performing arts on the KDFW Fox 4 Community Stage and more. The family-friendly Central Market Kids Fun Zone features inflatable rides, obstacle courses, berry-go-round, 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.
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 Sept. 21 to register.
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.
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 the Plano Centre 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.
Cover photo: Plano Balloon Festival, Inc.
Nighttime balloon glow photo: David Downs
City of Plano Balloon photo: Visit Plano
Live music photo: David Downs
Balloons in the sky photo: David Downs