V.I.P. Lift Off! – An Elevated Festival Experience!
The VIP Experience is August 19, 2023. This package includes:
~ Premium Tented area
~ Tethered Balloon Ride (1 per ticket)
~ Signature cocktails by Company Distilling and Old Forge Distillery
~ Wine by Cades Cove Cellars
~ Commemorative swag
~ Catered meal from The Abbey
~ Enjoy live music at the VIP experience
$175 per VIP ticket
What to Expect
Against the backdrop of a Smoky Mountain Sunset, the balloons begin to inflate at dusk and glow through sundown and into the nightime sky. This means balloons are usually up from about 5:00pm to 10:oopm, conditional on weather (if weather does not permit a glow the balloons will perform a candlestick glow).
The Balloons Will Not Launch Free…. This Is a Tethered Balloon Event.
Prepaid parking only at the festival grounds you can purchase your parking tickets here. The parking fee is $25 and includes 2 admission tickets to the festival. Entry tickets are $5. VIP tickets include free parking. Local business will offer parking in the area on the day of the festival.
Our four-legged friends are not discouraged from attending the GSM Hot Air Balloon Festival, but we understand that the Balloons can be frightening and noisy much in the same way a fireworks show creates stress for our furry pets. All pets must be leashed and poop bags are required.
Activities for All Ages
Our festival is a family fun event with lots of activities for all ages to keep everyone happy and having fun!
Food Truck & Concessions
Great local food trucks will be on hand to serve whatever craving you may have.
~ Halfback BBQ and Smokehouse
~ A & R Texas BBQ
~ Allyson’s Chimney Cakes
~ B’s Bites
~ Carolina Tea Company
~ Chef Mo’s Cafe
~ Donut Theory
~ Enjoy Latin Food
~ Good Hombres Tacos, Tortas & More
~ JDL Kettle Corn and/or Pork Rinds
~ Keoke Coffee Bar
~ Meatheads LLC
~ Mucho Gusto Food Truck
~ Poynor’s Pommes Frites
~ Red Box Burgers
~ Smoky Mountain Snow
~ Softee Serve Ice Cream
~ Southern Sips
~ Southern Yankee Pizza
~ Sweetwater Barbeque Company
~ The Crave Food Truck
~ Tic Toc Ice Cream
~ Tiki Grill
~ Waffley Good
~ The AB Project, LLC
~ TVC Farms
~ Wizard of Rocks
~ The Freeze Dried Shoppe
~ Tina’s Delights
~ Soft Landing Animal Sanctuary
~ Cutable Creations
~ 865 Axe Throwing
~ Bella’s Balloon
~ Calicountry Creations
~ Cannon Woodworking
~ Cotton State Watercolors
~ Crafts of the Smokies
~ Don & Lynn’s Creations
~ Handmade Toffee & Treats
~ Harmacy Hot Sauce Co.
~ Harvest Cove Pottery by Kami
~ Hip N’ Happenin’
~ Hudson & Harper Designs
~ Kat & Eddie’s Balloon-tique
~ LillyRenee Creations
~ Marie Strain
~ Missy Grace Mobile Boutique
~ Parker’s Goods
~ PartyWOW Parties – WOW Factor Balloon Decor
~ ScrapLady Creations
Relax with a cold beer while taking in the beauty of the festival.
Nothing better on a hot summer’s day! Thanks to Cherokee Distributing.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- What time will parking be available? 3:00 pm
- Is there handicap parking? No. Shuttles will be provided to help anyone that may need assistance.
- Is outside food or beverage allowed? No.
- How can you purchase tethered ride tickets? The tickets are sold online on this website. Same tethered rides may be offered on the day of the event.
- How much is a tethered ride ticket? $25 per person
- Can my 2 year old ride in the balloon with me? No. Ages 8+ are allowed to ride in balloons.
- Are kids free to the festival? Yes, kids 10 and under are free to attend the festival.
- What time do the tethered rides begin? Rides will begin around 6pm and go to 10pm.
- How long will the rides be? Approx 3 minutes
- How high will the balloons go? 30 feet
- Will I get to pick the balloon I ride in? No.
- What happens if the weather is bad? If the weather does not allow for a balloon glow the balloonists will perform a candlestick glow.
- Are my parking passes refundable? No. This is a rain or shine event.
- Are the tickets refundable? No, the tickets are non-refundable, except for tethered rides.
- Are dogs allowed? Yes, all pets must be leashed and poop bags are required. Please be aware that the noise from the balloons may be scary to our four legged friends.