It’s colorful! It’s high-flyin’! It’s fun. That’s right – the Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival returns to Foley in May!
Last year, tens of thousands of visitors packed the festival grounds on U.S. Highway 98 in west Foley for the free event. Strolling the site, visitors browse arts and crafts booths, and kids play games such as knocker balls and ride ponies.
Food booths offer a range of tasty, tempting treats. Savor mouthwatering barbecue, hamburgers (even one made with doughnuts), crawfish, frozen fruit drinks, snow cones and, of course, funnel cakes. Families picnic on the festival grounds, often with their own chair or blanket set up under a shady canopy.
The festival also includes free shows including a motorcycle stunt rider, a Frisbee-catching dog, and live music on stage.
The Balloon Glow at Tanger Outlets launches the fun from 6 to 7 p.m. on May 4, offering just a small taste of what’s to come.
Festival grounds open at 2 p.m. on Friday, May 5, and remain open until 10 p.m., providing plenty of time to enjoy carnival rides, shows, those arts and crafts booths and more!
The most colorful run on the coast, the Color Dash 5K, gets the action started at 7 a.m. on Saturday, May 6. Then the festival grounds are open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
On both days, balloons are set to fly early in the morning and around dusk, but keep in mind that they can only fly with weather (and wind) permitting. If you want to go up, up and away, tethered rides are available for a small fee.
There’s no reason to worry about parking. A free shuttle service is offered at Tanger Outlet Center (behind the Nike Outlet) on both days of the festival. Or you can pay to park at the festival grounds.
Make plans now to stay in Foley for this high-flyin’ fest!