The Hillsborough Balloon Festival and Fair is a major four day event held in Hillsborough, New Hampshire each summer. Featuring an Artist’s Fair, parade, and of course hot air balloons, the event was created by merging the former Hillsborough Firemen’s Weekend and Hillsborough Balloon Festival.
Along with the typical thrill rides and games of the Carnival Midway, the Festival also features music groups, demos, dancers, and fireworks. Special balloon liftoffs, a Balloon Night Glow, and balloon demonstrations are also planned throughout the weekend.
Each day of the festival, balloons will launch at 6 AM and 6 PM. While this allows spectacular photos, the real reason is that winds are calmest at the beginning and the end of the day. Thermal activity and related winds prevent balloons from flying midday. Although it requires getting up extra early, sunrise flights are usually best.
The festival and fair begins this Thursday night, July 19, 2012, at 6 PM with special ticket prices for the carnival rides and performances on stage. The fair closes 10 PM Thursday, but reopens Friday, July 20, 2012 at 5 PM. Along with more deals on rides and performances on stage, the Balloon Night Glow (weather permitting) will take place at 8 PM Friday night; the fair closes at 11 PM Friday.
Both Saturday and Sunday, July 21 and 22, 2012, the festival will open at 6 AM with the morning balloon lift offs and a pancake breakfast under the tent. Various events will occur throughout both days, with a special fireworks display on Saturday night at 10 PM. The fair will close Sunday at 8 PM.
Parking for the event is $5, but admission into the festival is free; some activities do require additional fees, however. The festival will be held at Grimes Field in Hillsborough, NH.
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For more information, including a complete schedule of events, visit the Hillsborough Balloon Festival and Fair website!