The Great Smoky Mountains Hot Air Balloon Festival will be held on Saturday, August 20th beginning at 4pm and closing at 10pm. Prepaid parking is $20 while waiting to pay at the gate on the day of the festival is $25 (cash only). Admission into the festival is $5 each person. Tethered hot-air balloon rides are available at $25 per person and typically sell out quickly. The parking area opens at 4pm and the event takes place regardless of rain or shine. Online ticket sales are here.
There is a VIP event on Friday, August 19th. Tickets are priced at $200 each and includes parking and a tethered balloon ride. VIP ticket sales are limited to 300 and includes a commemorative t-shirt.
Balloon inflation will begin and dusk, and the lighting will continue through nightfall until 10pm, weather permitting. The balloons do not launch into the air. This is strictly a tethered event.
Dogs are allowed if on a leash, but it can be noisy and upsetting similar to fireworks. Poop bags are required. Food trucks will be on hand as well as live music. A beer tent is open to purchase beer for those of legal drinking age.
Great Smoky Mountains Hot Air Balloon Festival is just one of many interesting festivals in the area around The Sidecar Inn.