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Fri, Mar 01

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Winthrop

Winthrop Hot Air Balloon Festival

The skies over Winthrop brighten with the brilliant colors of over a dozen hot air balloons. This 3-day Balloon Roundup is a photographer’s dream. An incredible visual display as the balloons fly over the old western town of Winthrop and with the snow-capped mountains of the North Cascades.

Winthrop Hot Air Balloon Festival
Winthrop Hot Air Balloon Festival

Time and Location

Mar 01, 2024, 7:00 PM – Mar 03, 2024, 7:00 PM

Winthrop, Winthrop, WA 98862, USA

About the event

The skies over Winthrop brighten with the brilliant colors of hot air balloons. This 3-day Balloon Roundup is a photographer’s dream. An incredible visual display as the balloons fly over the old western town of Winthrop and the snow-capped mountains of the North Cascades. While many balloon festivals are held in the summertime, the Winthrop Balloon Roundup allows visitors to experience the Methow Valley’s world-class winter recreational pursuits of Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, backcountry skiing, snowmobiling, and sledding.  Winthrop has activities for the whole family and various food and lodging options during your stay.

VIEWING THE BALLOONS: The balloons are scheduled to launch during each of the three mornings of this event, but the weather will determine if the balloons can launch. Consider extending your stay to ensure being able to see the balloons. Check back here to learn if the balloons will launch each morning.

Friday, March 1 Hot air balloons will inflate and launch.

Arrive around 6:45 am behind the Winthrop Inn (located on Hwy 20 at the south end of Winthrop, 960 Highway 20). The balloons begin inflating at 7:00 am. The balloons generally stay up in the air until about 9:00 am. Spectators are free and are welcome to come to the launch site.

Please RSVP if you plan to attend: Free Eventbrite RSVP

The pilots have requested no pets or smoking at this event to protect their balloons. Please park at Methow Valley Thriftway. Do not park on the highway or at Ace Hardware.

Pilots’ Lift off Celebration

7-9pm at Casia Lodge and Ranch, RSVP here. A cocktail reception for the pilots, guests and event spectators at the Beautiful Casia Lodge in Twisp. Food and sweets prepared by James beard award winning chef, Jason Wilson. Cash bar.

Saturday, March 2nd Balloon inflation and launching

Arrive around 6:45 am behind the Winthrop Inn (located on Hwy 20 at the south end of Winthrop, 960 Highway 20). The balloons begin inflating at 7:00 am. The balloons generally stay up in the air until about 9:00 am. Spectators are free and are welcome to come to the launch site.

Please RSVP if you plan to attend: Free Eventbrite RSVP

The pilots have requested no pets or smoking at this event. Please park at Methow Valley Thriftway. Do not park on the highway or at Ace Hardware.

Sip and Stroll – Wine Tasting Event

4:30-6:30pm, wine tasting and shopping event in downtown Winthrop, RSVP here.

Balloon Night Glow

Light up your night when the balloons inflate along downtown Riverside Ave. The balloons will inflate but not take off, causing the fire from the balloons to light up the shops and specspectators’ faces. This is not an event to be missed. This is a free public event. We recommend parking at the Winthrop Barn Auditorium or the Town Trailhead and walking to the event. This is a free public event that is not an event to be missed.

Night Glow Schedule:

-The streets close at four pm to clear space for the balloons. No cars may park at the north end of Riverside Avenue after four pm. -The balloons will arrive around 5:30 pm to set up. -The balloons begin to glow at sunset (5:50 pm) until around 6:30 pm.

The pilots have requested no pets or smoking at this event. Parking at the north end of Riverside Avenue will close at 4 pm for the glow to take place in the street. The Balloon Glow, like the morning launches, is subject to the weather conditions.

Sunday, March 3rd

Arrive around 6:45 am behind the Winthrop Inn (located on Hwy 20 at the south end of Winthrop, 960 Highway 20). The balloons will begin inflating around 7:00 am. The balloons generally stay up in the air until about 9:00 am. Spectators of all ages are free and welcome to the launch site.

Please RSVP if you plan to attend: Free Eventbrite RSVP

The pilots have requested no pets or smoking at this event. Please park at Methow Valley Thriftway. Do not park on the highway or at Ace Hardware.

You can find lots of fun things to do while you’re in town:

FIND EVENTS

***All events are weather permitting. Each morning at 6:45 am, the balloons decide whether to fly based on current weather conditions. These weather conditions cannot be predicted in advance. Winthrop has its own micro-climate at the base of the Cascades, and the current weather is often much better than expected. No pets allowed at the launch site, please.***

Book a Flight

FLY ON A BALLOON: Book a hot air balloon ride with the commercial operators at the event! Seattle Ballooning (link), Snohomish Ballooning (link), or Balloon Depot (link). Prices range from $350-400. If one’s full, try the others or . All offer easy online booking. They book out quickly!

Are you interested in bringing a balloon to our event? Commercial pilots, as well as sports balloonists, are welcome. Please get in touch with Snohomish Balloon Ride.

Presented by the Winthrop Chamber of Commerce

The Winthrop Chamber of Commerce provides propane for the pilots and other expenses for this spectacular event to occur. Local memorabilia will be available at the launch site – cash or check.

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