Best time to go to Ohio

Ohio Challenge Hot Air Balloon Festival 2024

With a car show, biplane rides, fireworks, it's definitely more than just hot air!

Dates: July 19–20, 2024

Ohio Challenge Hot Air Balloon Festival
Ohio Challenge Hot Air Balloon Festival

Ohio Challenge Hot Air Balloon Festival takes place over two days in mid-July in Smith Park, Middletown. The city is 39 miles (63 km) north of Cincinnati. Apart from hot air ballooning and traditional night balloon glow, the full-packed program features a car show, tethered balloon rides, biplane rides, food, drinks, crafts vendors galore, and fireworks.

Schedule of Balloonfest

The festival hours are 5 pm to 10:30 pm on Friday and Saturday. Guests will have the opportunity to walk within feet of over 20 fully inflated balloons, offering a true up-close and personal view. They will also be able to witness the flames roaring and interact with the balloon pilots for an immersive experience. A fan favorite, this year's balloon glows will be held Friday and Saturday at dusk from 9:15 to 9:45 pm. The Ohio Challenge will feature multiple balloons offering tethered balloon rides. Additionally, the Ohio Challenge's firework show will return this year, following the balloon glow at 10:15 pm.

Weekend Activities

In addition to the hot air balloons, the festival will feature a car show scheduled for Saturday from 2 pm to 8 pm, with registration opening at 2 pm and costing $15. Attendees can also look forward to a Plane Show showcasing exciting aerial displays and the chance to buy rides on planes or helicopters. A Virtual Plane Jump will stream live footage of skydivers descending toward the festival, providing a unique experience. Carnival rides will complement these attractions, entertaining attendees throughout the event.

Tickets & Parking at the Fest

The ticket cost is $5 per person aged 13 and over, while kids of 12 and under get free admission. Note that the ticket covers only walk-in admission. Festival tethered rides are available for $20/person. Parking is available at the airport entrance off Germantown Road with free shuttle service to the event and free admission for all vehicle occupants.

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