Lakeland’s upcoming hot air balloon festival

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We can’t wait for the colorful vibes next weekend | Photo via @danelover1964

If you thought SUN ‘n FUN was the only airborne-spectacle Lakeland had to offer, think again. The Up Up And Away Florida Hot Air Balloon Festival is taking place from Fri., May 6- Sun., May 8 at the SUN ‘n FUN Expo Campus.

The annual event is hosted by Up Up and Away Florida, Inc., a nonprofit that partners with other local nonprofit organizations, giving them the opportunity to raise funds and awareness by participating in the festival.

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This might be Lakeland’s most vibrant photo op. | Photo via @camrynlewis

Ready to fly up, up, and away? Here’s everything you need to know about the event:

  • Ticket options include one-day passes starting at $20 and one-day family passes (sold in packs of four) for $60. Pro tip: One-day passes are $25 at the gate + family passes are only sold online, so make sure to buy your tickets in advance to save.
  • Camping + RV sites are available for booking and unlock lower daily ticket rates.
  • Mobility devices such as wheelchairs and scooters are available for daily rentals. Quantities are limited, so make sure to book one at the time of ticket purchase.
  • In addition to seeing a sky full of hot air balloons, festival goers can also expect a full music lineup, car show, helicopter rides, nightly balloon glow shows, thrill show performers, and K9 demonstrations.
  • To stay in the loop with all things festival related, sign up for the festival’s newsletter.

For those with an adventurous side, hot air balloon rides are available in two capacities.

  • Tethered rides (where the balloon remains tethered to the earth but hovers 30-40 ft. off the ground for several minutes) are $20 per rider.
  • Full-service hot air balloon rides will take place from Sat., May 7-Sun., May 8 during the first two hours after sunrise and the last two hours before sunset. Rides lift off at 6:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. and cost $250 per person (cash only).

As always, don’t forget to send us your photos or tag us on social media so we can see the festivities through your eyes. Enjoy the show, Lakeland. 🎈