13th Annual Chester County Balloon Festival
June 21st, 22nd, 23rd 2019

The Chester County Balloon Festival is the must attend event at New Garden Flying Field in Toughkenamon PA. Filled with activities on–the-ground and in-the-air, the festival provides family fun for all ages. Benefiting Chester County Hero Fund

  • 100+ Vendors
  • Live Bands
  • Balloons & Glows
  • Kid Activities
  • Fireworks

Festival Safety

The Chester County Balloon Festival pilots and their crews, want everyone at the festival to have a safe and enjoyable experience. Here is some important information and safety tips for spectators.

Safety First

Hot Air Balloons are an aircraft, certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), annually inspected, and operations are regulated. Balloon pilots hold an FAA Lighter-than-Air certificate limited to airborne heater. The pilots must have a current certificate, completed biannual flight reviews, and annual safety courses.

Balloons fly at sunrise and a few hours before sunset because this is the most likely safe weather conditions for flights. Before launching, pilots will participate in a weather briefing where the FAA weather services and other weather instruments to determine conditions to provide data to make the fly or no fly decision. According to FAA mandate, hot air balloon operations are limited to specific weather conditions. Some of the larger parameters of safe flight conditions include calm winds of 7 mph or less, visibility of 2 miles or more, no active thunderstorms within 25 miles of the vicinity, winds aloft less than 25 miles at 3,000 feet, and cloud ceilings of more than 1000 feet.

Wind dictates when and in what direction balloons may fly and is the determining factor of whether balloons will fly from a festival location- we don't want to see an F-18 escort if we get too close to Biden’s house! Balloons fly when winds are calm or going calm, cloud cover at altitude is not an issue. Balloons need a light wind current to have a good flight, very strong winds make for hard and uncontrolled landings that can injure people, and damage property and balloon. 

Storms are extremely hazardous for hot air balloons because of turbulence or violent wind currents are going in multiple directions. Even rain is a problem because it decreases visibility. Water soaked weight effects balloon performance, no lift, and it's not much fun to fly in wet weather.

Prevailing weather and winds may postpone or delay ballooning. It's the Festival balloonmeister 's decision to determine if the larger parameters meet FAA requirements for safe balloon flight operations, but it's each Pilot's responsibility to determine whether it is safe to fly their own unique aircraft, equipment, given passengers and crew. The pilot’s decision is final. We ask for your understanding if a flight must be cancelled due to weather. The pilots and committee will be just as disappointed as you and maybe even more because they know what you are missing!

  • Per Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules you MAY NOT bring coolers onto airport property.
  • Beware of vehicles moving around the field, especially emergency vehicles needing to get through the crowd.
  • Do not bring your dogs or other pets.
  • Do not leave your children unattended. Hold their hand when looking up at balloons in the sky. They can disappear quickly.
  • Do not smoke on the Launch Field – it is a safety issue due to the propane
  • Do not step on or over any ropes attached to the balloons – again safety issue
  • Locate the Search & Rescue Tent – and let everyone know to meet there if you get separated. Make sure your children have some form of identification on them.
  • Please do not touch any balloon equipment without asking the pilot or crew.
  • Stay away from and clear of operating inflator fans near the balloons
  • Take note of where you have parked your car. It's more difficult to find in the dark.
  • Watch where you are walking for your safety and that of the balloons.
  • Please pick up any debris, litter, etc. and dispose of in trash containers. No outside alcohol is allowed.
  • Pack a flashlight to light the way back to your car after dark.

All Info about Chester County Balloon Festival

  • Festival Events Schedule

    Schedule is subject to change, please come back to this page regularly for updated info. Friday June 21st 4:00PM Gates Open, hay wagon shuttle begins, Vendors open for lunch Balloon Flight Sales...
  • Outside Unlimited Beer Garden

    Stop by the Outside Unlimited Beer Garden for an opportunity to try some of the craft beer industry’s best beer. The beer garden is located near the food trucks. Please refer to the festival...
  • Free Admission for Morning Balloon Launches

    On Saturday and Sunday morning during the Chester County Balloon Festival we plan on launching balloons starting at 5:30AM. Admission and parking is free. Be sure to arrive early so that you don’t miss...
  • Kid Zone

    Sponsored by the Future Aviator Camp instructor again this year, the Kids Zone is an interactive experience exhibit including flight simulators, remote control airplane simulators, aircraft...
  • Landowner Appreciation Raffle! A Thank You To Our Landowners

    Victory is changing ballooning traditions we hope forever in Chester County! Share Victory not champagne! Welcome a balloon to your land in your yard. Lay white sheets in form of an ”X” to let the...
  • Area Attractions and Accommodations

    Experience Chester County and the unique and historic Delaware Valley Region from the ground up! Whether you are local or a visitor, we welcome you to be a tourist in our town – let the Festival...
  • Festival Bands

    Please check back in the coming months for updated band schedule for 2019. See Festival Events Schedule for times and days.
  • Learn to Ride a Harley Davidson Motorcycle

    Brandywine Harley-Davidson, located in Chadds Ford, PA has the ultimate test ride experience for non-riders. Our Jumpstart is a unique and innovative tool that puts guests in the saddle of a running...
  • Ballooning History Display

    Besides being the hot bed of aviation innovation in America, Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley was the only place in the United States in the early 1950s where the sport of lighter-than-air or...
  • Franklin Institute Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Moon Walk at Balloon Festival

    The Franklin Institute conjunction with the Chester County Balloon Festival is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the moon walk by hand on work shops on the sciences behind it.The Franklin...
  • RC Airplane Show + Candy Drop!

    Annual RC plane demo presented by the Malchione Family.
  • Monster Truck Rides

    This year at the Chester County Balloon Festival you will be able to take a Monster Truck Ride around the Flying Field! Visit them at KRS Motorsports
  • KnockerBall

    KnockerBall is coming to the Chester County Balloon Festival! Knockerball™ is a single chamber inflatable sphere with inner handles and adjustable shoulder straps.  Knockerballs™ range from 1.2...
  • WGK Glass Art

    WGK Glass Art’s aim is to combine art and functionality to reach a wide spectrum of customers worldwide.  The exceptional craftsmanship and the wonderful details in its work make the pieces of this...
  • Helicopter Rides

    We fly and instruct in Robinson Helicopters, one of the most popular manufacturers of training helicopters in the world! We offer tours of the New Jersey shore points, as well as tours of...
  • Festival Facts

    What is the Chester County Balloon Festival? The Chester County Balloon Festival is a non-profit event with the proceeds going to the Chester County Hero Fund and several other local community...
  • Festival Safety

    The Chester County Balloon Festival pilots and their crews, want everyone at the festival to have a safe and enjoyable experience. Here is some important information and safety tips for spectators. Safety...