Missouri April 13, 2017
The One Of A Kind Festival You Won’t Find Anywhere But Missouri
Summer is just around the corner and with it comes fun festivals for the whole city or state to enjoy! While most festivals feature food, live music and local vendors, this one has a more unique factor to it. For hot air balloon fun, come join in on the festivities at Forest Park this September.
The Great Forest Park Balloon Race takes place in St. Louis every year.
The festival takes place in Forest Park every year and this year it will be held September 15th - 16th.
The festival has been in existence for over 40 years.
The Great Forest Park Balloon Race was founded in 1973 by renowned balloonists Nikki Caplan and John O’Toole. But in 1977, enthusiastic balloonists John Marlow, John Schaumburg, Dan Schettler and Ted Staley took over the festival and many of them still compete in the hot air balloon races today.
It is considered to be the most well-attended, single-day balloon race in the country.
Each year, over 150,000 spectators come out to watch world-class balloon pilots compete in a race . The festival is free and takes place right in the heart of the city, giving it just that more a draw for people to attend.
The festival features 70 world-class balloons.
Many large global companies sponsor a balloon to be launched at the festival, but the majority of their pilots are local to Missouri. The Energizer Bunny balloon has taken part in the Great Forest Park Balloon Race and is considered to be the largest hot air balloon in the United States.
The two-day festival kicks off on a Friday with the Gaslight Glow.
From 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. the Gaslight Glow takes place. Colorful hot air balloons light up the city skyline for two hours. Following the Gaslight Glow, fireworks are put on display for the public.
Day 2 of the festival is when the real fun takes place. Get ready for some balloon racing!
The fierce competition is set up in two waves. At 4:30 the "Hare" hot air balloons are released. Then, at 4:45 the "Hound" balloons are launched.
In between balloon launches, snack on festival food.
Vendors are set up throughout the festival with food and drink available for purchase.
For a truly unique festival experience, take a trip to St. Louis this September and watch the Great Forest Park Balloon Race.
This amazing hot air balloon festival and race takes place September 15th to September 16th in St. Louis. For a full schedule of events, click