Oklahoma Festival of Ballooning and Governor’s Trophy Championship
You are invited to the inaugural 2018 Oklahoma Festival of Ballooning!
Join us as we fill the sky over Muskogee’s Hatbox Field with the beautiful colors and magic of hot air balloons giving rides and competing for the Oklahoma Hot Air Balloon Championship Governor’s Trophy TM!
Both evenings will feature tether rides for those wanting a few minutes in a hot air balloon that is tied with long ropes to the ground. Also featured will be luminous glows just after dark with many of the balloons inflated and lit like enormous lanterns. And, Friday evening, Saturday morning, and Saturday evening will have a few exclusive spots open in some of the baskets for those wanting to reserve an opportunity to fly along with the festival’s pilots as they compete for the 2018 Governor’s Trophy.
This new event is presented by Muskogee Parks & Recreation Department with hot air balloon event management provided by Kansas City AeroSports. Additional support is being provided by The City of Muskogee, Muskogee Tourism and The Greater Muskogee Area Chamber of Commerce.
All hot air balloon activities will be dependent on weather conditions deemed safe for pilots, their crews, passengers and spectators following Federal Aviation Administration regulations.
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Residents and visitors of all ages!
Friday, August 17, 2018
6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, August 18, 2018
7:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Hatbox Field, Muskogee, Oklahoma
4000 Border Ave
(West at 69 & Border, North at S Hatbox Rd)
FREE general admission and open to the public! Food and beverage vendors will be selling a wide variety of menu options on site.
Parking Passes: $10 per day per vehicle
RV Spots: $40 per night (Third night free!)
Tether Balloon Rides: $15 per person
(Friday and Saturday – Tickets are sold on a first-come, first-served basis at the event only. Cash and credit card accepted.)
Balloon Passenger Rides: $250 per person
(Limited availability. Tickets must be purchased in advance online by Wednesday, August 15. Click here for more information and for a secure ticket purchase link.)
TIPS FOR HOW TO ENJOY THE EVENT:
Dressing Appropriately: It usually doesn’t take long for the temperatures to rise in the morning, but it can be a little cooler at sunrise. Experienced balloon fans dress in layers so that they can shed a layer as needed. Speaking of dressing for the morning, grassy areas can also be pretty wet with overnight dew right after sunrise, so you might want waterproof shoes. For the evening events, we again suggest layers if you plan to hang out and enjoy the balloon glow after sunset as the evening cools. Comfortable shoes are always recommended and if you want a tether ride in a balloon basket, the pilots usually require closed toes and back straps. Tennis shoes are a great option!
Taking Pictures: First of all, make sure you have room on your phone or camera because you won’t be able to stop at just one or two shots! You’ll want to take a lot and we encourage you to share them on social media. Our pilots are usually happy pose for a picture with you next to a balloon or basket when they aren’t in the midst of inflating or deflating their aircraft. Safety is of utmost importance at the Oklahoma Festival of Ballooning. Please ask a crewmember for permission before approaching a balloon area. They are friendly folks and it is a great way to learn more about the sport.
Looking for the perfect shot? Here’s a hint … closer is not always better and unique angles make for really fun and colorful shots.
Seating: It is encouraged and appropriate to bring a lawn chair or blanket with you for seating. Remember though, the balloon fabric (called the envelope) you see laying on the ground is going to grow nearly 20 times bigger when its filled with air. If a pilot, crewmember or event staff asks you to move your chairs, please do so quickly and with a smile. We want everyone to have the best experience possible!
- Please never, ever, EVER, step on balloon fabric or ropes. Always be mindful of where your feet are and stay away from the baskets unless given permission to approach.
- Please listen carefully to any instructions given over the P.A. system.
- Absolutely NO SMOKING is allowed on or near the balloon field. Propane fumes sink to the ground, float around and are very explosive!
Drones: Absolutely no unauthorized drones will be allowed on the premises by regulation of the FAA. Only those authorized by both Kansas City AeroSports and Muskogee Parks and Recreation may potentially be given permission.
Pets and Ballooning: We love our pets just as dearly as you do. In fact, that is why we typically don’t allow even our own dogs around the hot air balloon’s burners unless they are deaf. The burners make a very high-pitched and loud sound that is inaudible to humans, but when experienced up close by animals can hurt their sensitive ears. It’s the same reason that dogs bark and cats, horses, emus and cows head the opposite direction when a balloon flies overhead. We highly recommend you be kind to your pets, and respectful of other spectators, and leave your animals at home or in the safe care of others while you enjoy the Oklahoma Festival of Ballooning. Service animals are, of course, allowed as they receive special training to deal with uncomfortable noises.
For more frequently asked questions, click here.