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Centralia Balloon Festival 2024

Enjoy the sky filled up with hot air balloons in Centralia, Illinois

Dates: August 16–18, 2024

An annual 3-day hot air balloon festival in Centralia, Illinois is a family-friendly event where you can experience the magic of 40 hot air balloons in the sky! Save the date for a weekend of entertainment, crafts, fireworks, children’s activities, and lots of good food. The event is attended by approximately 40,000 visitors in scenic Foundation Park.

Events & Activities at Centralia Balloon Fest

During the festival, the sky will be a canvas of colorful hot air balloons, the true stars of the weekend. You'll have the chance to soar above, experiencing the thrill of flying in a balloon. Saturday evening will end with a magical balloon glow scheduled for 7:30 in Foundation Park, giving a spectacular display for the audience. The festival hours are 3 pm–10:00 pm on Friday and Saturday and 12 am–6:00 on Sunday.

Apart from hot air balloons, the festival offers over 100 food and craft vendors, a car show, and live music on our main stage! This year, the headliners are Kaylee Rose, Josh Gracin, and Taylor Made—A Tribute to Taylor Swift! Sunday is All Day Free Family Fun Day, a perfect chance for friends and families to participate in a Selfie Scavenger Hunt, Cardboard Boat Races, and a Car and motorcycle Cruise-In. The festival even boasts its annual award, The Fly High Cup, which recognizes balloonists for their good deeds.

Schedule of the Balloonfest events

Balloon flights are scheduled throughout each day. Friday through Sunday will start with 6 am morning flights over Centralia and will be proceeded by 5:30 pm evening flights and Tethered Balloon Rides in Foundation Park from 6 pm to 10 pm. However, event organizers warn that scheduled event times are approximate and subject to change due to weather and safety conditions.

Tickets & Parking

Admission is $5 for a wristband that gives access to all festival days. Wristbands are available at event gates, or you can skip the line and purchase them in advance at various locations. Kids aged two and under have free admission.

Parking at the North Entrance is also $5 per day. Additional parking with SCT shuttle to Foundation Park from City Hope Church is $1 per person on Friday and Saturday from 3:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Please note that the tickets and on-site parking can be paid for with cash only.

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