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Great Smoky Mountain Hot Air Balloon Festival

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Enjoy the Great Smoky Mountain Hot air Balloon Festival this summer! Here is a Smoky Mountains Vacation Guide with all the detail you need to know about this fun event in the Smokies.

The festival is one of the most highly-anticipated events in the Smokies, with people coming from all over just to see brightly colored balloons fill the sky. Plus, fun activities for the whole family!

Great Smoky Mountain Hot Air Balloon Festival
Great Smoky Mountain Hot Air Balloon Festival

The Great Smoky Mountain Hot Air Balloon Festival is a fun event that you don’t want to miss! Here is a guide with all the detail you need to know about this festival.

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Great Smoky Mountain Hot Air Balloon Festival


  • August 19, 2023, 4 pm – 9 pm

Where: Townsend Visitor Center

Ticket Prices:

  • General Admission tickets: $5
  • Tethered ride ticket: $25 per person
  • VIP ticket: $175

The Great Smoky Mountain Hot Air Balloon Festival is an event you won’t want to miss! Beautiful balloon glows, and tethered rides will fill the evening sky, set against a stunning Tennessee Smoky Mountain sunset. In addition to local food and drink vendors, there will also be plenty of festival activities available for all ages.

If you’re looking for an unforgettable experience and would like to avoid the crowds, then take advantage of the VIP experience. Only 300 people can participate in this event, so don’t hesitate!

This package includes parking, a premium tented area, Tethered Balloon Ride (1 per ticket), a catered meal at your leisure, signature cocktails by Company Distilling and Old Forge Distillery, Wine by Cades Cove Cellars, and more!

Activities at the Great Smoky Mountain Hot Air Balloon Festival

During this Festival, you can watch 12 balloonists paint the sky in breathtaking colors – and that’s just one of the many family-friendly activities available. Other popular activities from previous years include mini-bungee jumping sets and axe throwing.

Great Smoky Mountain Hot Air Balloon Festival
Great Smoky Mountain Hot Air Balloon Festival

At this beloved festival, you’ll have the opportunity to sample fare from some of the most celebrated local eateries and breweries. In addition to tantalizing your taste buds, you can enjoy live entertainment and get up close and personal with regional crafters through interactive demonstrations.

More Information

Parking: Save money by paying for your parking in advance–only $20! Or, if you forget, you can pay at the gate on the day of the festival, but it’ll cost you $25.

Pets: Yes, your furry four-legged friends are allowed at the festival! Just remember to keep them on a leash and bring poop bags too. Be aware that the noise can be frightening and stressful for them.

Weather: If the weather is not suitable for a balloon glow, the balloonists will perform a candlestick glow instead.

Ages 8+ are allowed to ride in balloons.

kids 10 and under are free to attend the festival

Outside food and beverage are not allowed.

Smoky Mountains 7-Day Itinerary

I understand how difficult it can be to plan a trip, especially if it’s your first time going. That’s why I created this 7-day itinerary for the Smoky Mountains. It outlines all of the best places to go in the area and comes with insider tips that will save you a lot of stress–trust me, they saved me when I was planning my own trip!

  • Our 7-day itinerary takes you to the best places in the Smoky Mountains.
  • You’ll get to see all the best sights and attractions with driving directions
  • The itinerary is designed to show you the most scenic routes.
  • Packing Checklist for every season.
  • You’ll have everything you need to make the most of your trip.
  • Insider Tips!

Here’s a quick overview of our Smoky Mountains 7-Day Itinerary.

  • Day 1: Cades Cove Loop
  • Day 2: Rich Mountain Road
  • Day 3: Cataloochee Valley
  • Day 4: Newfound Gap Road
  • Day 5: Roaring Fork Motor Trail
  • Day 6: Little River Road
  • Day6: Foothills Parkway

Get This FREE Summer Packing Checklist For The Smokies!

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Make the most out of your vacation to the Smokies with the Best Things To Do In The Smoky Mountains In The Summer! To make your trip extra fun, try this summer photo challenge while exploring the Smoky Mountains.

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