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Montgolfiades de Thouars 2023

The annual ballooning event in Thouars is held during the first weekend of fall


Last updated: by Olga Valchyshen
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Montgolfiades is an annual ballon festival in Thouars. The popular event gathers 15,000 visitors over three days. Thouars is located in the Deux-Sèvres department in western France. Montgolfiades de Thouars is usually held during a weekend in early September. About 40 hot air balloons rise in the sky over Hippodrome de Thouars.

Initiated in 2009, Montgolfiade de Thouars features balloon flights in the mornings and evenings to the delight of the young and old alike. The Montgolfiade also offers various activities throughout the weekend on the ground and in the air.

The festival usually starts on Friday with an opening ceremony, running from 6 to 10 pm. The audience is entertained by live music and mini-hot air balloons send toys into the sky. Mass hot air balloon ascension is planned at around 7 p.m. The evening ends with a spectacular Night Glow show. During Night Glow, hot air balloons remain tethered and light up their burners to the rhythm of the music.

Montgolfiades de Thouars highlights also include animation, cycling and walking tours, mini-balloon releases for children, a garage sale, a Montgolfiade market, games, bouncy castles, face painting, pony rides, and carousels. On Saturday, a fireworks display concludes the day. The festival offers free entry and parking. Food is available on-site. All balloon flights occur weather permitting, as ballooning highly depends on the wind.

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