Best time to go to Gatlinburg, TN

GSM Hot Air Balloon Festival 2024

Ballooning and fun activities in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Dates: August 17, 2024

GSM Hot Air Balloon Festival

The annual Great Smoky Mountain Hot Air Balloon Festival is held every August near the Townsend Visitor’s Center in Townsend, Tennessee. A one-day family-friendly event features live entertainment, food, beer, kids' zone, and more. Tethered hot air balloon rides will also be offered at the festival from 4 to 10 pm.

The main highlight of the festival is the evening balloon glow, when the skies get illuminated by beautiful balloons, looking like giant paper lanterns with the scenic Tennessee Smoky Mountain landscapes in the background.

Enjoy a magical sunset in the mountains along with various fun activities, like listening to live music from Tennessee bands, shopping at the arts and crafts fair, enjoying food at the food truck court, and immersing yourself in beautiful nature.

For those looking for an elevated experience, the V.I.P. ticket option is available. It includes seating in a tent area for close balloons with catered meal and adult beverages. Parking and a tethered ride is included.

Townsend, nestled in the picturesque hills, is often called the front door to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The town enjoys a more peaceful atmosphere than nearby Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. In the summer, it offers great hiking, wildflower sightings, river tubing, and golfing.

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Last updated: by Olga Valchyshen