Now that The Husband and I have been to the Plano Balloon Festival for two consecutive years, can we consider ourselves regulars? This is one of those events in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex that we look forward to because we can be children again in awe of the beauty of giant balloons and fireworks. It is just awesome!
Here are some tips you can take into consideration when you attend the festival in the years to come:
1. Hot air balloon launches are weather permitting.
Yes, the event depends a lot on the mood of Mother Nature that day. So maybe you would want to offer an egg to Santa Clara to ensure best weather for balloon flying? In the Philippines, you do offer eggs to this particular saint to pray for good weather on special occasions like weddings.
2. To truly enjoy the beauty of the flight and light of the hot air balloons, make sure to attend the balloon launches both in the morning and in the evening
As far as we have attended, the likelihood for balloon flight is better in the mornings. But that does not mean that you should skip the evening balloon launch.
Don’t skip evenings as apart from the attempt to fly, the hot air balloons also do what they call the “balloon glow show” or “night glow”, wherein all the hot air balloons fire up their burners to create a lantern or light bulb effect. It is a sight to see the illumination of the balloons of different shapes and sizes against the dark night sky.
3. Make sure to bring a picnic blanket and portable seats.
The only seats available are the few picnic tables around the park. So it is best to bring picnic blankets or portable seats, the lightweight folding kind, for you to sit back, relax and enjoy the sights.
4. As the festival food can be a bit expensive, you can pack a picnic lunch or dinner if you want to save a bit.
5. Bring cash to be able to buy food from concessionaires.
So you don’t miss out on American festival favorites!
Concession stands sell the likes of funnel cake, corn dogs, roasted peanuts, roasted corn, smoked turkey legs and more. Maybe prepare at least $20 of pocket money for a little tasting of the different goodies.
6. If you are a runner, you can join the Plano Balloon Festival’s half-marathon or 5K and 1K fun runs.
Last year, it was my first time to join the 5K race, and, boy, was I dripping with sweat. But running while seeing the sky dotted with all the hot air balloons, made the run a little bit more pleasant.
7. Be prepared for the traffic getting into the festival venue.
There seem to be more and more people attending, so as the people increase, so do the cars. So make sure your gas tank is filled up before getting in deep into the traffic lines into the Plano Balloon Festival parking areas.
8. Parking costs between $5-10 depending on where you park.
Costs increase, $10, as you get closer to the main festival area. If you park further away at the Plano Center, then parking costs only $5.
If you register for the run, you actually get a free VIP parking pass, which allows you to park much closer to the main festival area.
9. Wear comfortable shoes!
You will be doing a lot of walking around on uneven surfaces, which include a combination of hills and concrete paths. So just save your stiletto heels for the dance floor, unless you would want your heels to get stuck in the ground.
10. Of course, bring a camera!
The Plano Balloon Festival is a buffet table of rainbow colored images for photographers and photo enthusiasts. So bring your camera, whatever type it is – whether just your phone camera or those professional kinds with all the bells and whistles – and your photographers eye!
Hope to bump into you this year!
Plano Balloon Festival
General admission tickets (as of last year) are as follows:
- $5 for adults
- $4 for Seniors (65 and above)
- Kids under 36″ get in for free!