Everything you need to know about the Ascension Parish Hot Air Balloon Festival

The 2019 Ascension Hot Air Balloon Festival returns to Gonzales at the end of September with three days of balloons, bands, boucherie and so much more! Gather up your family and head down to Lamar Dixon Expo Center Sept. 27-29 for fun in the heart of Ascension Parish.

The Basics

The Hot Air Balloon Festival will take place at the Lamar Dixon Expo Center once again on Sept. 27-29. You can get into the festival on Friday 4:30 PM – 11:00 PM, Saturday 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM and Sunday 11:00AM – 6:00PM.

Admission is $5.00 for adults, free for children 8 and under. Please, cash only! ATMs will be available on site. 

NO pets, ice chests, tents, outside food or beverage, weapons or illegal substances are permitted on the festival grounds. Bags, backpacks, wagons and strollers may be subject to security checks for your safety. You may bring folding lawn chairs. 

Visit Website

Tethered Hot Air Balloon Rides

Can I ride in a Hot Air Balloon?

Yes! Kind of. The festival offers tethered hot air balloon rides. It is $20.00 per adult, $15.00 per child 8 and under to ride.

According to the website, here’s how it works:

During a tether ride, passengers climb aboard the aircraft for a short ride. The balloon is securely anchored to the ground via a series of high-tensile strength ropes and carabiners. Then, the hot air balloon ascends to a height of 50′ or less. Rides generally last about 5 minutes, including the on-boarding, ascent, decent and off-boarding.

More details on rides here

Hot Air Balloon Glow
Photo Courtesy: Tour Ascension

What is the Balloon Glow?

One of the highlights of the festival is this glowing hour towards the end of the festival. At 7:00 PM on Friday and Saturday, all of the hot air balloon pilots will inflate their balloons and light the fire underneath. The result is picturesque and definitely something you don’t want to miss.

Related content: Get out of the sun with Gonzales’s new aerial rope course

See the schedule here

Will there be Live Music?

You bet! Break out your dancing shoes and boogie down to the rockin’ sounds of Mike Broussard Band, Michael Brandt, After 8, Ryan Foret and the Foret Tradition, Sofa Kings, Orphan Annie, Jordan Babin and so much more entertainment. You can even expect a meet and greet with Marvel characters. 

See the schedule here

Photo courtesy of Hannah Wilson

Should I come hungry?

Oh yes, there will be food! You can expect about nine food vendors throughout the weekend. Plus, you’ll be able to see and taste pig-roasting, cracklin’ cook-offs and more at the 2019 Boucherie Festival

Keep your eyes open and stomachs hungry for: 

  • Raising Cane’s
  • Tintin’s
  • BRQ
  • Big Cheezy
  • Lamar-Dixon Concessions
  • Kona Ice
  • Jones Concessions
  • McKinney Food Services
  • Boomin’ Cajun Food Truck

Related content: The Big Cheezy in The Big Easy

See menu items and prices here

Is there anything else to do?

The three day weekend also sports a three day carnival. From open to closing each day, the festival offers carnival rides of about 16 classic fun machines. Bumper cars, merry-go-round and tilt-a-whirl are just a few of rides you can enjoy with the family. 

If you plan to ride, come prepared to purchase your tickets or bracelets at the festival. 

Tickets

$1 per ticket (multiple tickets per ride)

Bracelet

Friday: $25 All-Day Bracelet

Saturday: $30 All-Day Bracelet

Sunday: $25 All-Day Bracelet

See all of the carnival rides here

Friday, September 27, 2019

4:30PM Festival Gates Open
4:30PM-11:00PM Children’s Village: Face Painting, Crafts, Mini Ferris Wheel, Party Train and Mini Airplane Rides ($3.00 single ride tickets; $20 ride Bracelets)
4:30PM-11:00PM Tethered balloon rides (WEATHER PERMITTING – $20.00 per adult 9 – UP, $15.00 per child 8- under)
5:00PM-6:30PM Powered Parachute Flight – (WEATHER PERMITTING)
5:00PM-6:30PM Live Music – Ryan Foret and the Foret Tradition
5:30PM-6:00PM Magic performance by Tim Gaines the Magician
6:30PM-7:30PM Special Shape Balloon Inflation – (WEATHER PERMITTING)
7:00PM-7:30PM  Magic performance by Tim Gaines the Magician
7:00PM-8:30PM Hot Air Balloon Glow (WEATHER PERMITTING)
8:30PM-10:30PM Live Music – Mike Broussard Band
10:00PM-11:00PM  Fireworks
11:00PM Festival Closed

Saturday, September 28, 2019

11:00AM Festival Gates Open 
11:00AM-11:00PM Children’s Village Face Painting, Crafts, Mini Ferris Wheel, Party Train and Mini Airplane Rides ($3.00 single ride tickets; $20 ride Bracelets)
12:00PM-6:00PM Marvel Characters Meet and Greet
1:00PM-1:30PM Magic performance by Tim Gaines the Magician
1:30PM-3:00PM  Live Music – Fly by Night Trent Bourgeois
2:30PM-3:00PM Magic performance by Tim Gaines the Magician
3:30PM-5:00PM Live Music – Sofa Kings
4:00PM-5:30PM Magic performance by Tim Gaines the Magician
4:30PM-11:00PM  Tethered balloon rides (WEATHER PERMITTING)
5:00PM-6:30PM Powered Parachute Flight – (WEATHER PERMITTING)
5:30PM-7:00PM Live Music – Orphan Annie
5:30PM-6:00PM  Magic performance by Tim Gaines the Magician
6:30PM-7:30PM Special Shape Balloon Inflation – (WEATHER PERMITTING)
7:00PM-8:30PM Hot Air Balloon Glow (WEATHER PERMITTING)
8:30PM-10:00PM Live Music – Michael Brandt
10:00PM Fireworks
11:00PM Festival Closed

Sunday, September 29, 2019

11:00AM Festival Gates Open 
11:00AM-11:00PM Children’s Village Face Painting, Crafts, Mini Ferris Wheel, Party Train and Mini Airplane Rides ($3.00 single ride tickets; $20 ride Bracelets)
12:00PM-6:00PM Marvel Characters Meet and Greet
1:00PM-1:30PM Magic performance by Tim Gaines the Magician
1:00PM-2:00PM  Live Music – Jordan Babin
3:30PM-4:00PM Magic performance by Tim Gaines the Magician
3:30PM-6:00PM Live Music – After 8
6:00PM Festival Closed

For more information on the Ascension Hot Air Balloon Festival, CLICK HERE.