Balloon Races

The Great Reno Balloon Race is one of my favorite times of the year! (Except for the waking up early part, I’m not a morning person. However, this event is worth it). The balloon race takes place the weekend after Labor Day, in September, where roughly 100 hot air balloons take flight at once. Oh, and did I mention that this is a free event? And to top it all off, you can go right up to the balloons!

I would recommend going to the Glow Show and Dawn Patrol at least once. This only runs during the weekend and it starts at 5:00 in the morning, where 6 balloons inflate while it’s still dark and they ignite the ballon flame so you can see the ballon glow in the dark. Then at 5:30 there is Dawn Patrol where the 6 balloons then fly up into the air. It’s mystical and quite fascinating.


Between Dawn Patrol and when the race actually starts you have about 45 minutes or so to kick around. This is around the time the sun is about to come up, so I recommend taking a break here to walk around. There are many vendors and it’s a great time go to the bathroom or get that second cup of coffee.


At 6:45 they send up one or two balloons for the national anthem. After this is over, the race begins and it’s time to head right onto the field. This is my favorite part! You can go right up to the balloons, but be sure to watch where you are going. Not only are there a lot of spectators on the field, but people who are setting up their balloons are coming on to the field, laying them out and blowing them up. This takes a whole team of people and these are not small balloons. Just make sure to stay out of the  way!

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I would recommend walking up and down the field so you can see them all, or even standing in the middle of the field so you can get a good look in all directions.


Make sure you pick your favorite balloon for the year. For me this year was the pirate ship!

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The balloons are all up by 8:00 AM, and then it’s time for second breakfast (yes, I am part Hobbit).

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Hope to see you next year!

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