Midland, Michigan has one of the midwest’s best hot air balloon festivals, aptly named Midland Balloon Fest. For an entire weekend in August each year, hot air balloons dot the skies, glow on the ground into the late hours of the night, and race to targets in the early morning, competing for the glory of being the top balloon pilot. In addition to all of the hot air balloon festivities, there are endless opportunities to have fun with the entire family, from rock climbing and zip-lining, to science projects and crafts, black smithing demonstrations, a farmers market, all the food and drinks you could dream of (for kids and adults), plus live music, performances, and so much more. Here’s what you can expect to find during Midland Balloon Fest.
Midland Balloon Fest
Location: Midland Michigan
Address: Chippewassee Park
101 Golfside Dr,
Midland, MI 48640
Date: July 30th – August 1st, 2020
Cost: No Admission Fee
Parking: Free Parking
Events: Hot Air Balloon Race, Balloon Glow, Farmers Market,
Rock Climbing Wall, Zip-Lining, DIY & Crafts,
wine & Beer Tent, Food Stalls,
& much more
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My husband and I visited Midland this past weekend for the gorgeous Midland Balloon Fest, and it was so much fun! As mentioned above, there was no shortage of things for people of all ages to do in an enjoy. In addition to the wide range of activities for everyone listed above, there were also lots of opportunities to participate in educational activities, which we’re primarily aimed at student aged people, although anyone could participate. There were also kayak and canoe rentals which seemed very popular, so that anyone who was interested in paddling on the river during the festival. The Chippewa Nature Center also offered educational canoe trips down the river, which were full of people having a wonderful time learning about the natural world around them every time we saw them paddle by us.
The hot air balloons were out in full force during Midland Balloon Fest, flying sometimes twice a day, and glowing during the evenings, which means they were tethered to the ground, but inflated and lit up by the fires that fill them with hot air. This made exploring the hot air balloons and learning more about them, as well as meeting some of the incredibly talented pilots during the festival. The glow event on the Saturday we arrived was cancelled due to the weather, but we have attended them before in neighboring Frankenmuth and it’s just beautiful. Friday’s glow was one of the best people had ever seen, according to the few dozen people we talked to over the weekend, and we were sorry to have missed it.
The live musical performances Midland Balloon Fest & RiverDays had scheduled for this year were amazing, and we were very impressed with the variety of music they played, and we were impressed with how talented all of the musical acts were. As if all of these events weren’t enough, they had free outdoor movies playing, a corn hole tournament, fencing, walking tours, and there was a gorgeous fireworks display that lasted about half an hour, which is a lot longer than most similar firework shows. The firework display was just stunning, and we couldn’t believe how many fireworks they launched each round. I’d recommend coming to this festival just for the amazing fireworks, if nothing else!
Did you attend the Midland Balloon Fest? If so, let me know what you thought of this year’s events in the comments below!
Until next time!
See More by Annie Fairfax
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