Frequently Asked Questions

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  • Will I see hot-air balloons throughout the day?

    Hot-air balloons launch in the early morning (about 7:30 a.m.) and late afternoon (about 4:30 p.m.) because wind conditions are more stable. Pilots have a weather briefing prior to scheduled balloon flights to determine if it is safe to fly. Visit natchezdemocrat.com during the week of the Balloon Race to sign up for texts that will provide information updates on the weather, launch sites, and landing sites.

  • Where do we watch the balloons?

    Weather permitting, balloons will inflate and glow on the festival site on Friday night. We urge you to be courteous to the pilots and hot-air balloons by not stepping on or over the balloons. Balloons launch from different sites in the Natchez area based on wind direction and strength at the time of launch. Balloons are scheduled to fly on Friday morning, Saturday morning and afternoon, and Sunday morning and afternoon—weather permitting. Visit natchezdemocrat.com during the week of the Balloon Race to sign up for texts that will provide information updates on the weather, launch sites, and landing sites. On Saturday afternoon, the goal of the pilots is to fly over the festival site at Rosalie Mansion. Sunday afternoon is magical, because the pilots launch their balloons from the festival site.

  • Where are the balloons taking off?

    Balloons launch from different sites in the Natchez area based on wind direction and strength at the time of launch. Balloons are scheduled to fly on Friday morning, Saturday morning and afternoon, and Sunday morning and afternoon—weather permitting. Visit natchezdemocrat.com during the week of the Balloon Race to sign up for texts that will provide information updates on the weather, launch sites, and landing sites.

  • Do I get to ride in a hot air balloon?

    Tethered balloon rides are offered to the public on Saturday at the festival site, weather permitting. Only sponsors at the level of $1,250 or above fly in the balloon basket with the pilot. Contact us for information about becoming a balloon sponsor.

  • May I bring my dog or pet?

    No pets are allowed except for service dogs with uniforms and credentials.

  • May I bring a cooler with food & drinks?

    No coolers will be permitted on the festival site. No outside food or drinks can be brought into the festival site.

  • Where do we park?

    The Natchez Adams County Humane Society operates a paid parking lot entered from D. A. Biglane Drive adjacent to the festival site. Parking is also available at the Visitor Center with shuttles to and from the festival site. Since the festival site is located in downtown Natchez, parking is also available on city streets.

  • Do you offer shuttles from hotels?

    No. Four hotels and several bed-and-breakfasts are within easy walking distance of the festival site. You will need to contact individual hotels to inquire about shuttle service to the festival site.

  • What are typical weather conditions and what do I wear?

    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 midday. Also remember to wear comfortable walking shoes. Sunglasses and sunscreen are recommended!

  • Are there places to eat at the festival?

    10 food vendors offer a variety of food on the festival site, and soft drinks, beer, and spirits are available for purchase. Also, the festival site is located in downtown Natchez in the midst of a dozen great restaurants.

  • Are backpacks or large bags allowed at the festival?

    Clear plastic bags are required for security and for preventing long lines at the festival gates as bags are searched.

  • Are lawn chairs allowed at the festival?

    Yes. Many also bring a blanket.

  • Are tents or chair umbrellas allowed at the festival?

    No. Chairs and blankets only, please.

  • Is seating available at the Natchez Balloon Festival?

    No, the festival site at Rosalie Mansion has no seating available.

  • I have a gun permit. May I carry it on festival grounds?

    No firearms or weapons are permitted on the grounds of Rosalie.

  • Where can I purchase Natchez Balloon Festival souvenirs and merchandise?

    On the festival grounds, souvenirs and merchandise can be purchased at the official merchandise tent inside the grounds. Before the weekend of the festival, souvenirs and merchandise can be purchased at the Historic Natchez Foundation at 108 S. Commerce St. and the Natchez Visitor Center at 740 S. Canal St.

  • Can I get my tickets at the gate?

    Yes. However, you save money by buying tickets in advance. A weekend pass costs $30 in advance and $40 at the gate. A Friday night ticket is $15 in advance and $20 at the gate. A Saturday ticket is $20 in advance and $25 at the gate. Sunday’s $5 ticket is the same price regardless. You may purchase advance tickets at the Historic Natchez Foundation at 108 S. Commerce St., Natchez Visitor Center at 740 S. Canal, or online here.

  • Where can we stay?

    Find information about hotels and bed-and-breakfasts at visitnatchez.org or Natchezmsbandb.com Check for more availability in Vidalia and St. Francisville, Louisiana, and in Brookhaven, McComb, and Vicksburg, Mississippi.

  • Are drones allowed?

    No. Only drones operated by the Natchez Balloon Festival are allowed.