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Pilots are scheduled to launch balloons only twice daily; early morning (approx 7:30am) & late afternoon (approx. 4:30 - 4:45pm). Balloon glows and balloon flights are weather dependent. Pilots have a weather briefing prior to scheduled ballooning activity, where they will decide if it is safe weather for flight. Individual pilots may opt out, if safety concerns and unfavorable weather conditions exist. It's a hot air balloon festival & we make every best effort to showcase our gentle giants for festival guests! Visit NatchezDemocrat.com during the week of the Balloon Race to sign up for texts!
Cooler weather is ideal for balloon flights since the hot air gets a better "lift." Balloonists usually fly just after dawn or before dusk, because there is less wind at these times.
Balloons will be glowing on the festival grounds for viewing on Friday night, we ask you please be courteous to hot air balloons and do not step on or over any. Balloons launch from different sites throughout Natchez according to wind direction and strength. The goal of the balloon pilots is to have the best view of hot air balloons be on the festival grounds.
Hot air balloon pilots choose a safe location to take off from according to the direction of the wind. You can sign up for text message notifications to find out if the pilots are going to lift off, what time the balloons will fly and where they will take off from. Visit NatchezDemocrat.com during the week of the Balloon Race to sign up for texts!
Tethered balloon rides are offered to the public Saturday at the Balloon Race, weather permitting. However, full balloon flights are not offered to the public. Some hot air balloon sponsors of the balloon race are offered rides by their pilots. Contact us to find out about sponsoring future festivals!
No. Dogs and pets will not permitted to enter the venue. Service dogs with uniform & credentials are the exception.
Coolers will not be permitted beyond the gates. No outside food or drinks can be brought into the festival.
There is street parking throughout downtown Natchez offering you a chance to enjoy our historic downtown before the event. There is also a paid parking lot on D.A. Biplane Blvd. See Parking and Map to Festival.
No. You will need to contact your individual hotel to see if they are offering a shuttle to the festival grounds. There are downtown hotels that are well within walking distance to the festival.
Typical weather for Natchez during October ranges from 50-80 degrees F. Bring a jacket for the morning and evening, but prepare for t-shirt and shorts weather during the mid-day. Also remember to wear comfortable walking shoes. Sunglasses and sunscreen are recommended!
Yes. There are food vendors serving a variety of foods. Local restaurants offer fare, as well as carnival food and drinks. Beer and liquor are also available for purchase on the festival grounds.
Yes, but they are subject to inspection upon entering the Park. All strollers, wagons, purses and backpacks are subject to search upon entry to the grounds.
Yes. Many also bring a blanket to protect their belongings from the grass and dirt, and to have a bigger place to stretch out.
No. Chairs and blankets only, please.
No, the grounds of Rosalie where the festival is held does not have any tables or chairs available.
No. No firearms or weapons are permitted on the grounds of Rosalie.
Shirts, posters and logo and printed items can be purchased at the official merchandise tent inside the grounds Friday p.m. through Sunday of the festival. Leading up to the event, you can buy items at the Natchez Visitor's Center as well as the Natchez Historic Foundation on 108 S. Commerce Street.
Yes. There are no penalties or extra charges for purchasing your tickets at the gate on the day of the festival.
See NatchezMS.com or VisitNatchez.org or www.natchezmsbandb.com find information about hotels and bed and breakfasts. However, hotels and bed and breakfasts fill up fast; Nearby towns will also have availability in hotels, and are a short drive away from Natchez! Check for more availability in Vidalia LA, St. Francisville LA, Brookhaven MS, McComb MS, or Vicksburg MS.
No. Only pre-approved drones are permitted on the grounds of the festival and at balloon take-off zones.