Florida’s Up Up And Away Balloon Fest Expecting Record Crowds


With the Sun ‘n Fun grounds barely recovered from last month’s fly-in, the site will host the Up Up and Away Florida Hot Air Balloon and Music Festival this weekend (May 6 – 8). Operated by Up Up and Away, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, the event will include early morning and late afternoon mass ascensions, tethered balloon rides, a car show, helicopter rides, kid zones, vendors and live music from 10 live bands throughout the site.

The balloon rides, $20, are available by reservation with the balloon pilots prior to the event. The custom car show takes place on Sunday. “Family activities and entertainment from Space Adventures Thrill Show, Squawk, The Amazing Bird Show, and more make this a festival for all ages,” according to Up Up and Away.

The annual event is put on as an educational and community exposition for residents and visitors. It also enables partner nonprofit organizations “to raise funds and awareness for their own programs and services by participating in the support and operations of the festival.” Up Up and Away Festival expects to host more than 35,000 attendees at what it touts as the largest balloon show in Florida.

Mark Phelps
Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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  1. I almost missed the nuance of the Title, “Up, up and away (in my beautiful balloon”). One has to be old enough to know of the song. (And, sadly, the older one becomes, the more likely to forget the song.)

  2. Sounds fun, hope the weather cooperates.

    “the event will include early morning and late afternoon mass ascensions…”

    I like it. Most of us have to ‘climb’ in our aircraft, ugh. Sounds exhausting, strenuous.
    ‘Did you climb Camelback today? Yeah, and I’m spent. Would have been nice to just ascend to the summit.’

  3. I bet it would be beautiful. Best to pay attention lest be blown out over over ocean/gulf though.