The 9th Annual Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival presented by Tanger Outlets, welcomes more than 45 hot air balloonists from across the country on Father’s Day Weekend, June 14-15 to the Foley Sports Complex, 18507 U.S. Highway 98 West in Foley.
Enjoy the floating works of art as they grace the skies of South Baldwin County for Saturday morning competition flights beginning at 6 a.m. You can even get up close and personal as the hot air balloons light up the evening skies at the nightly balloon glows, held Friday and Saturday night between 7 p.m.-9 p.m.
Have you ever wanted to take a ride in a hot air balloon? If so, the festival offers guests the opportunity to purchase a short ride in a hot air balloon on either Friday or Saturday night. Guests who purchase a tether ride in a hot air balloon float more than 25 feet in the air getting a bird’s eye view of the festival. Children twelve and under are $15 per person, while those over the age of twelve are $20 per person. A limited number of tethered rides will be sold. Tethered rides can be pre-purchased by visiting the festival website, gulfcoastballoonfestival.com.
“Bringing your family to the festival is a great way to reconnect, slow down, enjoy each other and builds long lasting memories”, says Russ Moore, 2013 Festival Chair. “Every year thousands of families can be seen with blankets spread out or lawn chairs side by side, enjoying each other’s company as they take in the sights and sounds of the festival. Kids explore all parts of the festival from the free Kid’s Fun Zone activities to petting alligators or climbing a rock wall. The family friendly festival is a great place for families to spend a carefree, relaxing weekend.”
The balloons are not visible during mid-day due to wind conditions, but there are many other fun activities for all ages. Festival goers can enjoy the free, fun entertainment featuring something for every member of your family.
Spread out your blanket, grab an ice cold drink and enjoy a variety of live music daily, from country to rock and roll. While the balloons are the stars of the show, do not miss the wide variety of high energy musical performances featuring groups like The Tip Tops at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday night. A full musical lineup can be found on gulfcoastballoonfestival.com.
“The World Famous Disc Connected K-9 Frisbee Dog Show is back again this year by popular demand”, says Moore. Be sure to catch one of the many shows by the World Famous Disc Connected K-9 Frisbee Dog Show, a group of highly trained canine dogs rescued from animal shelters. Toss after toss you will be amazed as man’s best friend defies gravity catching their prized flying saucers. Moore also adds, “Year after year this high flying group of canines truly amazes the crowds with their stunts and tricks. Best of all is the story that is retold during the show. All the dogs participating in the show are actually rescued and rehabilitated from shelters around the U.S. It is a very inspirational story for all of you pet lovers!”
Pet a baby alligator, dance like a butterfly to fun kid’s tunes, paint your face like a tiger or try a little family friendly game of limbo. The free Kid’s Fun Zone offers hours of fun for any age from 2 p.m. – 8 p.m. on Friday and 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. on Saturday.
Grab an ice cream cone or snack on popcorn as you stroll through our Arts & Crafts Village and Retail Marketplace featuring local crafters, artisans, and retailers. View daily demonstrations from crafters and chefs, find a one of kind piece of art, or grab a souvenir. Vendors open from 2 p.m.–8 p.m. on Friday and 8 a.m.–8 p.m. on Saturday.
Tanger Outlets will hold their Kick off and Glow event at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 13. The event features a balloon glow, children’s entertainment and opportunities to win prizes from the stores of Tanger Outlets. Tune up your vocal cords and participant in the Gulf Coast Rising Stars Talent Competition set to take place on Friday and Saturday at Tanger Outlets. Singers compete for a chance to win cash as well as the opportunity to perform on the main stage at the festival. Pre-registration is required and entry forms can be downloaded on the festival website or picked up at both Tanger Outlets Guest Services locations.
Avoid festival traffic by riding the free shuttle busses from Tanger Outlets operating from 2pm-10pm on Friday and Saturday. Festival onsite parking is also available for $5 per vehicle, per day. Onsite parking passes may be purchased for Friday or Saturday allowing for unlimited access each day of the festival.
For a complete schedule of events, shuttle routes and to see photos and videos of the event, visit www.gulfcoastballoonfestival.com, find us on Facebook or call 251-943-3291.