Best time to go to Louisville, KY

Great Balloon Glow 2023

The official start of the Great Balloon Race weekend

Great Balloon Glow is one of the most awaited events of the Kentucky Derby Festival, taking place annually in Lousiville in late April or early May. Thousands of people gather to watch over a dozen hot-air balloons lighting the night like giant paper lanterns. Great Baloon Glow starts at about 9 pm, illuminating the waterfront at Kroger's Fest-a-Ville with the stunning Louisville skyline at the backdrop.

Great Balloon Glow usually precedes the Great Baloon Race. Hot air balloons are set up and inflated on the field but stay tethered and do not ascend. As the pilots fire their burners, balloons start to produce a warm glow, synchronized to some special music. Attendees can walk around the field, talk to the pilots, and enjoy a one-of-a-kind experience.

Great Balloon Glow and the Great Balloon Race are among Kentucky Derby's most popular events, as well as Ohio Valley Wrestling's Run For The Ropes, Rubber ducks racing, and Funday Drag Show Brunch.

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Last updated: by Olga Valchyshen