READY FOR LAUNCH: Natchez Balloon Festival Happening Next Weekend – Mississippi’s Best Community Newspaper

NATCHEZ – Natchez is now one weekend away from the Natchez Balloon Festival, which is due to take place from Friday October 15 to Sunday October 17.

Merchandise, including this year’s winning balloon t-shirt and poster by artist Debora Novarini, is on sale now at the Natchez Historical Foundation, located at 108 S Commerce St. Small posters are $20 each and large posters $30 each.

When visitors, or locals, arrive in town on Thursday night, they’ll have the opportunity to enjoy some live music before the official start of the festival at the Natchez bluff bandstand’s “Live at 5” concert on Broadway Street, featuring featured Natchez “NRhythm. ”

As the name suggests, the concert is live at 5 p.m. and will feature the Natchez-born, fusion-influenced “NRhythm Band.”

Festival doors open at 4 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. Saturday at Rosalie.

YZ Ealey is scheduled to perform at 7:30 p.m. and The Fabulous Thunderbirds at 9 p.m. Friday.

Saturday’s lineup includes the Matt Willis Trio at 2:30 p.m., Jamell Richardson at 4 p.m., J & The Causeways at 5:30 p.m., Tank and the Bangas at 7:30 p.m. and headliner Christone “Kingfish” Ingram at 9 h. pm

Admission to the festival starts at $15 or a Friday pass, $25 for a Saturday pass and $30 for a weekend pass and children 10 and under y attend free of charge.

With the purchase of VIP tickets, attendees can also access the VIP sponsor tent overlooking the Mississippi River with a private cash bar, tables and chairs, air-conditioned restrooms and a view of the front stage. A Saturday-only VIP pass is $125 and a weekend VIP pass is $250.

There is no festival site on Sunday, however, balloons will take off from the north end of the cliff on Sunday afternoon weather permitting.

Hot air balloon rides are scheduled every morning and afternoon over the festival weekend and hot air balloon flashes are scheduled on Friday and Saturday around 6.45pm at the festival grounds in Rosalie depending on the weather.

Those keeping up to date with hot air balloon flights and locations can sign up for SMS alerts at

On the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the festival, alerts will be sent from the Balloon Pilot Briefing directly to your phone describing where, when and if the skies of Natchez will be filled with hot air balloons.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit