General Festival Questions
- Why are the balloon ascensions at such unusual times - 6:30 a.m & 8:30 p.m?
- Can I bring a tent and/or an umbrella?
- Is the festival handicap accessible?
- What are my camping options?
- When is the best time to come to the festival?
- Do you know of any hotels in the area?
- Are there parking options other than Walla Walla County Fairgrounds?
- Can I bring a cooler with food and beverage into the festival?
- Can I bring a pet into the festival?
- What is a Balloon Glow?
- Do I have to buy tickets in order to see the concert?
- Can I take a balloon ride?
- How close can I get to the balloons?
- What goes on at the festival other than watching the balloons?
- How do I get to the festival using public transportation?
Why are the balloon ascensions at such unusual times - 6:30 a.m & 8:30 p.m?
It is the safest to launch hot air balloons when the surface winds are less than 6-8 mph. Therefore, ascensions are at the two times during the day when winds are calmest - one hour after sunrise, and one hour prior to sunset. As the sun heats up the atmosphere, it creates breezes, otherwise known as 'thermals.' Therefore, the best time to launch the balloons is while the air is still cool, or cooling down.
Can I bring a tent and/or an umbrella?
Tents are not allowed. Umbrellas are allowed but we would like you to be wary of your neighbors, please don't block their view. If our staff sees that you are blocking other peoples view during the ascensions, we reserve the right to ask you to take it down for that time period or move you to the side away from the crowd so everyone can have a great view of the balloons or other events that might be going on around you.
Is the festival handicap accessible?
As with all special events and festivals, The Walla Walla Balloon Stampede reserves areas closest to the festival admission gates for vehicles displaying the proper handicapped parking tags. (Please make sure these tags are clearly visible, so police and parking personnel can direct you to the proper parking area.)
The main pedestrian thoroughfares are paved surfaces, and easily traversed by wheelchairs, people with walkers, etc. However, please be aware that the balloon launch area can only be reached by traveling over stretches of grassy fields. If the ground is saturated with rain, it can make the going a little bit slow.
Sorry, the festival does not offer wheelchair or cart rental. There are a limited number of “customer service” golf carts which are available to transport patrons to the parking lots from various points throughout the festival grounds.
What are my camping options?
RV camping is available on the festival grounds, on a first come first served basis. There are aditional camping options in Walla Walla. Click here for more information.
When is the best time to come to the festival?
While there is non-stop family entertainment throughout the festival, if you want to see balloons, the best time to come is early in the morning to watch the 6:30 am ascension or Saturday evening to watch the NiteGlow event which begisn at dusk. Thethered Balloon Flights may be held early to mid-afternoon on Saturday (weather pending). Traffic tends to build up around 7:00 pm on Saturday, so to avoid traffic, plan to arrive a bit earlier. You will have time to walk the festival grounds, enjoy the crafters and vendors, and even take in some of our entertainment before watching the NiteGlow.
Do you know of any hotels in the area?
We are proud to offer a list of Chamber member lodging options for the festival.Please visit our lodging accomodations page to book your reservation or for more information.
Are the parking options otehr than the Walla Walla County Fairgrounds?
A number of privately run parking lots adjacent to the Fairgrounds will be open during the festival. Small parking fees may apply.
Can I bring a cooler with food and beverage into the festival?
Coolers, bottles and food are not permitted on the festival grounds for safety reasons. The festival provides an assortment of unique foods at our concessionaire stands.
Can I bring a pet into the festival?
Only seeing eye dogs are allowed on festival grounds. Please make arrangements to leave your beloved pets at home during your trip to the festival.
What is NiteGlow?
The signature event at the Balloon Stampede, the NiteGlow has been compared to Christmas in July or flickering Japanese lanterns. At predetermined signals, the pilots blast the propane burners, which releases a burst of fire into the balloon. The balloons 'glow' like huge fireflies, a truly magical scene, and one not to be missed! The NiteGlow occurs during the Saturday evening concert beginning at sundown.
Do I have to buy tickets in order to see the concert?
The concert is FREE! However, seating is available on a first come first served basis, so it helps to arrive a bit early.
Can I take a balloon ride?
In the interest of safety for pilots and patrons, balloon rides are NOT offered during this event. The Chamber does NOT release pilot information.
How close can I get to the balloons?
While the FAA mandates that we fence in the balloon launch area for safety purposes, you can easily secure a prime viewing spot along the flight line to view these magnificent and colorful balloons. Attending the morning ascensions on both Saturday and Sunday, enables you to get the best, unobstructed view.
What goes on at the festival other than watching the balloons?
The Walla Walla Balloon Stampede is 'more than hot air' because it offers a wide variety of entertainment. There is truly something for everyone! From colorful hot air balloons ascending daily to concerts, to children's entertainment, to arts & crafters, to food vendors from around the country, NiteGlow and more, to amusement rides, we guarantee non-stop entertainment for the enitre family! Visit our Detailed Schedule for a complete list of entertainment.
How do I get to the festival using public transportation?
Click here to go to the Valley Tranist website in order to view a complete list bus routes.