Northern California April 15, 2017
The One Of A Kind Festival You Won’t Find Anywhere But Northern California
Northern California hosts dozens of spectacular, family oriented festivals each year, but this is one that you will definitely want to mark down on your calendar. The Sonoma County Hot Air Balloon Fest is a 2 day even that happens every summer, and this year’s event will be taking place on June 10th and 11th in Windsor. No one in Northern California should miss out on this one of a kind display.
The Sonoma Hot Air Balloon Classic has taken place in Windsor every summer since 1990. Now in its 27th year, it's a time honored tradition for locals and out of town visitors alike.
Spectators experience balloons up close, watch them launch, and even take tethered rides. The event is volunteer run and all profits support local charities.
In addition to raising money for charities, the event is all about raising awareness of the sport of hot air ballooning.
It's also a community festival that brings crowds to enjoy food booths, craft booths and a kids' play area while they learn about the balloons.
A favorite tradition for spectators as well as those up in the air is the Dawn Patrol. Dedicated balloon pilots wake way before the crack of dawn to launch their balloons by 5am before the sun rises.
The resulting sight is nothing short of spectacular. The Hot Air Balloons seem to glow in the night sky thanks to the fire that keeps them aloft.
While the early morning launch is worth losing a couple hours of sleep, for those of us who just can't bring ourselves to wake up that early there is another launch at 6:30am.
People who come to the event can also partake in tethered balloon rides until 10 in the morning, which allows you to experience the thrill of flight in a controlled environment.
Many people leave this annual event with a newfound appreciation for hot air balloons.
Hot air balloons can only fly under certain conditions, and when it gets hot later in the day, they have a harder time getting off the ground. Hence the early wake up time!
People who come year after year begin to recognize some of the balloons from previous years. The pilots who come year after year and dedicate their time and equipment are really the heart and soul of this event.
It's such an amazing experience to ride in a hot air balloon, and how many people can actually say they have done it? If this has always been a dream of yours or if it is new to the bucket list, then you have to attend this event in June!
Even if you don't plan on getting airborne, this is still a worthwhile and stunning experience.
The Sonoma County Hot Air Balloon Fest happens each year at:
700 Windsor River Rd
Windsor, CA United States 95492
Have you ever seen a spectacular showing of air balloons just like this? For more Northern California adventures, we suggest reading
The Incredible Caverns In Northern California That Are Only Accessible By Boat.