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International Balloon Festival of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu 2024 in Quebec

Check out the largest hot air balloon festival in Canada with more than 125 balloons from all around the world

Dates: August 9–11, 15–18, 2024

International Balloon Festival of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu

The International Balloon Festival of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu is one of the most spectacular events in the ballooning world. Held annually in August, this festival is ideal for families, balloon enthusiasts, and music lovers. From one of America's largest inflatable parks to stage shows, balloon rides, and incredible gourmet offerings, this festival is a must-visit event of the summer.

Hot Air Balloon Launches and Rides

The main attraction of the festival is undoubtedly the hot air balloons. As stated by the organizers, balloon launches occur twice daily, at 6 am and 5:30 pm. Attendees can either enjoy a ride in one of the balloons or watch the majestic launches from the panoramic fields. Additionally, there will be opportunities to meet pilots and crew members, providing insights into the fascinating sport of ballooning.

Night Show

One of the highlights of the festival is the enchanting night show, where a stunning array of hot air balloons illuminates the festival site like glowing Chinese lanterns. Scheduled for Friday, August 9, Saturday, August 10, Friday, August 16, and Saturday, August 17 at 9 pm, the night show promises to be a magical experience that captivates visitors of all ages.

Music Performances

Music is a significant aspect of the festival. As noted by the organizers, the event will feature performances from well-known Quebec and Canadian artists, as well as emerging talents. The lineup for 2024 includes notable acts such as Bryan Adams on August 10, Avril Lavigne on August 17, and Charlotte Cardin on August 16. Saturdays are particularly notable for headliner performances, making them a highlight for music enthusiasts. Other performers include Simple Plan on August 15, The Sheepdogs on August 10, and Les Shirley on August 17. The festival promises a vibrant and diverse musical lineup that will appeal to a wide audience.

Family-Friendly Activities

Beyond ballooning and music, the festival offers numerous family-friendly activities. One of the highlights is one of America's largest inflatable parks, providing endless fun for children and adults alike. Other activities include rides by Beauce Carnaval, stage shows, and gourmet food offerings, ensuring that there is something for everyone to enjoy. Don't miss the chance to meet the festival's beloved mascot, Piko.

Tickets and Parking

A 7-day passport, starting at $61.64, grants you access to seven days of music and activities, with free admission for children four and under. If you prefer to attend on a specific day, daily tickets are available for $44.39. For a more exclusive experience, consider adding terrace access for $49.99 or front-stage access for $37.49 to your ticket or passport, ensuring prime views and additional amenities. For those wishing to take to the skies, balloon flights start at $344.93. It's important to note that while taxes and service charges are included in all ticket prices, shipping and handling charges are not. Additionally, parking can be secured in advance for $15.

Location and Infrastructure

The International Balloon Festival takes place at the Saint-Jean Airport in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, located approximately 40 minutes from Montreal. The festival grounds are accessible rain or shine, although some activities, like inflatable games, may be temporarily canceled in case of bad weather.

History of the Festival

The International Balloon Festival of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu was first conceived in 1984. Bob Burch and Dave McLeod, hot air balloon enthusiasts from Montreal, proposed the idea, recognizing the region's ideal conditions for ballooning. Initially known as the Haut-Richelieu Balloon Festival, it started with 20 hot air balloons. By 1992, the event was renamed the Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu Hot Air Balloon Festival, shifting to a more family-oriented focus. In 2001, the festival gained international recognition and adopted its current name. Over the years, it has grown significantly, with highlights including a record-setting 125 balloons in 2011.

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