Every Labor Day weekend, hot air balloon afficianados from across the state and beyond gather in Dansville, NY for the New York State Festival of Balloons.

The New York State Festival of Balloons opens with the magical "Balloon Glow"

The New York State Festival of Balloons opens with the magical, musical "Balloon Glow"

The event starts on Thursday, September 3 with Balloon Glow, a lovely event where music heralds the opening of the festival, displaying glowing balloon orbs, lit at dusk (Scheduled from 8 p.m.-8:20 p.m.). 

On Friday at 4 p.m., the gates open for the festival’s full roster of festivities which includes arts & crafts exhibitors, an international food court, rides and activities for children, a Lumberjack show (Saturday, 1 p.m.-6 p.m.), concerts (see schedule below), and of course, balloon launches and rides.  On Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., car enthusiasts will enjoy the Open Class Car Show at the Dansville airport.

If you plan to go for the balloon launches, be sure to check the schedule.  The launches take place on Friday evening, Saturday, Sunday and Monday morning, only at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., weather permitting.

If you’ve ever dreamed of flying up, up and away in a hot air balloon, the New York State Festival of Balloons offers a great opportunity to indulge your desires.  Each ride lasts from 45 to 75 minutes, depending on wind and weather conditions, with an additional 30 to 60 minutes needed for touchdown and packing of the balloon. To soar in a balloon, you must be at least 10 years of age and free from physical limitations.  For more about  hot air balloon rides see Ride Procedures.  The cost of a hot air balloon ride is $200 per person and can be scheduled in advance, or onsite, schedule permitting.

If you plan to attend the concerts, be sure to bring a lawn chair or blanket.  The concert schedule, presented on the festival’s Main Stage, includes:

  • Saturday- Noon to 2:30 p.m. – Half Ton Horns
  • Saturday – 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. – BroadKast
  • Sunday – 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. – The Kid Kurry Band
  • Sunday – 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. – The Other Band

The New York State Festival of Balloons is located at the Dansville Airport , Dansvill, NY and Admission is $5 per person and free to children under 12.