The Poteau Balloon Fest takes place every October at the LeFlore County Fairgrounds in Poteau, Oklahoma. The annual event features tethered balloon rides and night glows. In addition to that, there is a mud pit race, plenty of games, food, arts and crafts booths, games, and carnival rides.
All hot air balloon events of the festival happen only weather permitting. Most balloon flights occur between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. In the afternoon, launches are possible from 4 to 7 p.m. After that, the balloons line up for a beautiful balloon glow. During the rest of times balloons are located in a designated area, where pilots will be describing the art of ballooning, let the public get into a basket and see how the burners heat the balloon up. Other attractions include BMX Freestyle Team, Magician Wes Bates, pet contests, Rumble on the River Mud Race, Saturday Night only Midgets with Attitude Midget Wrestling, Derek Cook FMX, Great American Kits, Mean Machine monster truck rides, camel rides, and exotic animal petting zoo.
The Poteau Balloon Fest was named #3 in the Top Things to do in Oklahoma by OKIESCENTRIC magazine. It attracts over 20,000 people to the Poteau area each year. The two-day event opens gates on Friday at noon and will close at 11:00 p.m. On Saturday the gates will open at 9:00 a.m. and the festival ends at 11:00 p.m.