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About National Balloon Classic

Nearly 100 hot air balloons paint the Iowa sky with brilliant colors and playful Special Shapes! Cheer on skilled pilots as they compete for points and prizes, sit back and enjoy live music nightly, buy a balloon ride for a one-of-a-kind view, and prepare to be awestruck as dark skies come alive with a mystical glow during Dawn Patrol and Nite Glows. Kids Land, fireworks, fabulous food...experience all of this and so much more at the 2018 National Balloon Classic!

We are busy at work planning a fabulous event. Full schedule including entertainment and special events will be available Spring 2018. Meanwhile, our tentative schedule will be:

Friday, July 27: Evening Flight only

July 28-August 4: Morning Competition Flights at 6:30am and Evening Competition Flights at 6:30pm.  


July 23: Flight Over Des Moines

July 28: Wacky Classic Parade

First and Last Saturdays: Fireworks

Dawn Patrols: First and Last Saturdays

Nite Glows: Sunday, Wednesday, Friday (Nite Glow Extravaganza Wednesday, August 1)

It's never too early to reserve a balloon ride at the Classic. To reserve your space for 2018, contact Galena on the Fly (815) 777-2747 or email

General Admission (includes parking)

Morning admissionFREE
Evening admission (Ages 6 and over) $5
Children (Ages 5 and under)FREE

No refunds or wind/rainchecks. Times are approximate and schedule may change without notice. All events at the National Balloon Classic are dependent on prevailing weather conditions and subject to weather delays or cancellations. The safety of our pilots, volunteers, and spectators is our primary concern. Purchased tickets may be used on any day during the National Balloon Classic. Unused tickets are not refundable.

The National Balloon Classic property is Vapor Free and Smoke Free according to Iowa's Smoke Free Air Act. Balloon Flights are weather dependent and times are approximate and subject to change. ATM's are available inside the gate at designated locations.