Best time to go to Virginia

The Flying Circus Hot Air Balloon Festival 2024

One of the highlights of the Virginia summer

Dates: August 17-18, 2024

The Flying Circus Annual Hot Air Balloon Festival takes place every August at the Flying Circus Aerodrome, Bealeton. The venue is 16 mi (26 km) south-east of Warrenton, Virginia. It's the biggest event of the year organized by the Flying Circus, that has been operating for over 50 years in Virginia.

Festival Hours and Program

The two-day Flying Circus Hot Air Balloon Festival starts at 6 am with a spectacular lift-off. Balloon rides will be available. In addition to hot air balloons, airshows will also take place at 1:30 pm on both Saturday and Sunday. Late afternoon and evening balloon launches will happen between 6 and 8 pm. Many balloons offer tethered and chartered flights that have to be booked in advance. Hot air balloon flights are subject to weather conditions. So, throughout the day, organizers will make announcements to keep guests informed about the timing of balloon events. A balloon basket typically holds a pilot and two or more passengers.


Tethered Balloon Rides for Adults are $20a, Kids (ages 12 and under)—$10. Free-flight Baloon Rides are $300 per person.

Pet Policy

Guests can bring their fluffy friends on the festival grounds, but pets must be leashed at all times. Also, cleaning up after pets is the responsibility of pet owners. Also, pets should not disturb other visitors' rest. It is equally important to remember that there are a lot of loud sounds at the festival that can scare your pet.

Special Events (May-October, 2024)

The Balloon Festival usually takes place on the third weekend in August. But these two festive days are only a small part of a huge months long celebration—The Flying Circus spans from May through October, featuring diverse airshows and biplane rides every Sunday throughout the season. So, if you can't make it to the ballooning fiesta, come any other Sunday. The gates open at 11 am, with a pre-show starting at 2 pm, and an airshow following at 2:30 pm. The latter normally continues to 4 pm.

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