There's something about hot air balloons that brings out the inner child in everyone! Watching a hot air balloon fire up and take flight is both exhilarating and beautiful to behold. But there's nothing quite like watching hundreds of balloons fly through the sky, aglow with bright colors on a crisp late summer morning! That's something every kid (at heart) should experience.
You're in luck! Every September the Reno-Tahoe area is treated to the largest FREE hot-air balloon event in the world at the Great Reno Balloon Race. Most people have heard of the hot air balloon fiesta in Albuquerque, NM but unaware that Tahoe' backyard hosts an even bigger festival. This year's event is held September 8-10, 2023 at Rancho San Rafael Regional Park in Reno, NV and the festival's 41st anniversary celebration!
The festival is packed full of outdoor events that start as early as 5:15am on September 8. This famous Super Glow Show is a MUST SEE, followed by the Dawn Patrol, Balloon Mass Ascension, and much more. Since the balloons take flight at dawn, we do suggest hitting the hay early, and ensuring you have some way of accessing hot coffee or a hot beverage in the morning as you take the short drive from Olympic Valley into Reno. Watching the sun barely rising over the Sierra Nevada Mountains is a sight to see, and another treat before watching all the hot-air balloons ascend! Pack snacks for kiddos, dress warmly in layers, and don't forget to bring your camera!
Speaking of cameras, the Great Reno Balloon Race will also host a photo contest where you submit your favorite photo from GRBR 2023 with a chance to a for a chance to win a hot air balloon ride for 2 during the 2024 event! Submissions will be accepted from September 8-17, 2023. Click here to learn more.