Take to the skies, see the Night Glow, and meet the pilots at this four-day celebration of soaring.
The only thing more delightful than seeing a hot air balloon in the sky is seeing dozens of hot air balloons in the sky—that’s probably why the collective noun for balloons is “festival.” This is reason enough to head to High River for the 9th Annual Heritage Inn International Balloon Festival from September 22nd to 26th, 2021, but it’s not the only reason to put it on your calendar.
1. You can ride in a balloon.
Balloon flights are for sale and will run (weather permitting) each day of the festival. There’s no better way to enjoy the golden beauty of Alberta in the fall. When you land, ballooning tradition dictates that you enjoy a champagne toast with your crew.
Click here to see available flights for purchase.
2. The Night Glow is magical (and photogenic).
This popular event attracts thousands of visitors each year, who gather in Adams/Mercer Land located at the West end of MacLeod Trail in High River on Friday evening to eat food truck fare and view dozens of inflated, illuminated balloons.
To drive to Adams/Mercer Land, the best route will be to go west on 12th Avenue to Highwood Trail. Turn right and follow Highwood Trail as far north as you can. Parking is in the residential area and it is the individual’s responsibility to find their own parking location. This is private property, so we still ask for no dogs to be present at glow night!
3. Competitive ballooning is a thing.
The festival welcomes more than 20 highly skilled balloon pilots from Canada, the U.S., and Europe. Several pilots will compete in a series of competition flights during the festival, which requires them to drop markers as near as possible to specific goals on the ground.
It’s a great way to celebrate High River.
The first Heritage Inn International Balloon Festival was in September 2013, just three months after flooding devastated the town. Now in its sixth year, the festival has become a symbol of optimism and resilience in High River—and it’s a wonderful opportunity for visitors to experience the spirit of this lovely town.