Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival


Admission is FREE to the 11th annual Gulf Coast Hot Air Balloon Festival which opens this Friday, May 1 and the weather forecast looks perfect!  

33 pilots from across the U.S will participate and the festival will include balloon glows Friday and Saturday night, the World Famous Disc Connected K-9's Frisbee Dog Show, Carnival rides, Arts and Crafts vendors and a crawfish boil.  

The festival grounds, located at 18507 US Highway 98 West in Foley, are open Friday from 2 p.m. - 10 p.m. and Saturday from 6 a.m. - 10 p.m.

Schedule of Events

Thursday, April 30 
The festivities will kick off Thursday night at Tanger Outlets, beginning at 7 p.m., with 10 pilots scheduled to participate in a balloon glow on the grounds of the shopping center. Participants will have a chance to win carnival wristbands and other prizes. 

Friday, May 1
Arts, crafts, retail & food vendors open at 2 p.m.
Antique tractor display opens at 2 p.m.
World Famous Disc Connected K9 Frisbee Dog Show 3 p.m., 5 p.m., 7 p.m.
Interactive Hot Air Balloon display 5 p.m. - dusk
Carnival rides open at 2 p.m.
Tethered Hot Air Balloon rides (fee), balloon glow and mass ascension at dusk


Entertainment
5 p.m. - 7 p.m. Sugarcane Jane, the Alabama Gulf Coast husband-and-wife musical team of Anthony and Savana Lee Crawford released a new album this week, titled "Dirt Road's End."

8:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. The Chee-Weez, a five-piece tribute/show band from New Orleans. The group covers a wide range of genres -- 70s funk, 80s cheeziness, 90s rock.

 

Saturday, May 2
Competition flight approximately 6 a.m.
Arts, crafts, retail & food vendors open at 9 a.m.
Antique tractor display opens at 2 p.m.
World Famous Disc Connected K9 Frisbee Dog Show 7:30 a.m., 3 p.m., 7 p.m.
Interactive Hot Air Balloon display 8 - 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. - dusk
Carnival rides open at 6 a.m. and run until 10 p.m. All-day wristbands are $25, individual rides available $3 
Tethered Hot Air Balloon rides ($20/$15), balloon glow and mass ascension at dusk


Entertainment
2 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Jeri

4:30 p.m. - 7 p.m. Rhythm Intervention, a local band out of Gulf Shores plays reggae, punk, funk and soul

8:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. Escalade, a show and dance band from New Orleans that plays the 50's classics to modern hits.

 

Don't miss your chance to win $1,000

"Don't Drop the Ball on Education", Two hundred numbered balls will be dropped from a tethered hot air balloon and the ticket holder with the ball landing closest to the target will win $1,000! Tickets are available for $20 and all proceeds benefit the South Baldwin Chamber Foundation, a local charitable organization that works to enrich education throughout the Foley feeder pattern. The ball drop will take place at approximately 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 2; the winner does not have to be present to collect the prize.

With only 200 tickets available, the South Baldwin Chamber Foundation encourages people to purchase tickets early at the chamber office (112 W. Laurel Ave., Foley) or by contacting Gale Croft at 251.943.5520.

Parking and free shuttle

Parking at the festival site, which is accessible from Cater Lee Way via Baldwin County 65 to the west and Hickory Street to the east, is $5.


Free shuttle service will run from Tanger Outlets on Alabama 59, south of U.S. 98, and from the Trawick Center in the Bryant Bank parking lot at 1502 N. McKenzie St./Alabama 59, north of U.S. 98. The shuttle will run from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday.


Shuttle pick-up at Tanger is located behind Nike Factory Store, near Juniper Street.  Handicap parking is free and accessible at the site on U.S. 98. 

 

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