There are a few things to me that remind me of summer here in Central NY: the kickoff of Saranac Thursday, the opening of Water Safari, and BALLOONFEST!

The 40th Annual Balloonfest is making it's way back to Syracuse this June and I honestly cannot be more excited. Happening the weekend of the 28th through the 30th, In case you aren't familiar with what Ballonfest is, it's a weekend of hot air balloons, musical entertainment, arts, crafts, food, beverages and more! And the best part about it all is that it's free to attend!

You also have the opportunity to go up into the sky in a balloon (not gonna lie, it's kind of always been a dream of mine!)  Balloon Rides are available Friday at 6:30PM, plus both Saturday and Sunday at 5:30AM and 6:30PM, weather permitting of course.  If you're interested in this - you can email or call 518-505-0330. Reservations are strongly recommended. You can also make a reservation at

  • Info needed: Name, phone number, email address, number of people, total weight of passengers, flight day & time requested
  • Rides are available Friday, Saturday, Sunday evenings (6:30pm approximately) and Saturday & Sunday mornings (5:30 am) during the event
  • Champagne (non-alcoholic beverage available) upon landing and a ride back to the park are included in price
  • All balloon flight times are approximate and are dependent upon calm (wind under 10 mph) and unthreatening weather conditions.
  • Cash only, due at the time of the flight. An ATM is located at the festival.
  • What to wear- passengers should dress for the temperature that day and please NO FLIP FLOPS or SANDALS.  Please wear shoes or boots and a baseball cap or hat is always recommended.
  • Children fly at the discretion of the pilot. Please note, those under 43" tall may not be able to see over the top of the basket, are not allowed to be picked up and may be afraid of the noise from the burner.

They also have teathered rides available as well: Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening from 5-9pm (weather permitting). Reservations are NOT needed and you can purchase tickets at tether booth.

Parking is $10 and there's a lot of spaces available so you can't go wrong. Don't forget to bring lawn chairs so you and the family have a place to sit, as well as sun screen! The event will also feature a bunch of live music, rides for the kids, food, and fun! It's also just really cool to be able to see all the balloons up in the air.

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