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Great Smoky Mountains Hot Air Balloon Festival Kicks Off in August

TOWNSEND, Tenn. (WVLT) – Balloons will once again fill the skies of East Tennessee in August! The Great Smoky Mountains Hot Air Balloon Festival will return to Townsend for its fifth year, bringing fun to attendees of all ages.

The festival will kick off for those who purchase VIP tickets on August 19 from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at the Townsend Visitor Center, located at 7906 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway. Only 300 participants will be able to buy the individual tickets, at the price of $200 per person.

The VIP package includes entry to the main event, parking, marquee seating for balloon viewing, swag, food, adult drinks and unlimited soft drinks, according to a press release. . VIPs will also be able to speak with balloonists and take a hot air balloon ride with plenty of photo opportunities.

Hot air balloons will fill the sky for the main event on August 20 from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Visitor Center. Attendees will enjoy live entertainment, art demos and sales, a food truck and beer tent.

“The Hot Air Balloon Festival is such a breathtaking backdrop of mountains and hot air balloons. It’s a fascinating exhibit, and I’m glad we’re bringing this festival to Townsend for another year. I think people who come out will be very happy that they did,” said Carmen Simpher, CEO of Little Arrow Outdoor and festival organizer.

Admission is $5 per guest, with advanced parking $20 or daytime festival parking $25.

Pre-sale tickets for hot air balloon rides are now available for $25 per passenger here. According to a statement, no runner under the age of eight will be allowed to ride the balloons. Rides during the main event will begin at 6:00 p.m., weather permitting.

More information can be found here.

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