Every year as part of the Freedom Festival in Provo, there is a balloon festival. The Provo Balloon Fest usually happens for three mornings in a row (July 2, 3, & 5, 2021) so you have a good chance of catching this adventure. It’s an early morning adventure, so make sure to prepare yourselves for an early alarm.
The balloons are supposed to start filling up and launch around 6:30 am. We heard you should be there a little early so you can see them get all set up. So we arrived at 6:10 am. Unfortunately for us, it was slightly windy so everyone was waiting to see if the weather would clear. A few minutes after we arrived, they sent up some “tester” balloons (I can’t remember the official name) and the pilots all watched what they did. Then they all headed back to their balloons, but they continued to wait. The only reason I am telling you this is because I want you to be prepared in case of bad weather. Hot air balloons can only fly in pretty nice conditions since they can’t steer.
Finally around 6:50 the Bank of American Fork balloons got brave and started filling up their balloons. It was so exiting! Everyone hurried over to watch. It was fascinating to see this massive balloon fill up using large fans. Then once it was mostly full, they turn on the fire!! This is loud and so if you have children who don’t like loud noises, be prepared. Our two year old usually does fine with all adventures, but he was terrified of the fire…not the noise, but seeing the fire.
Soon lots of balloons started to fill up and everything was looking ready to roll, but unfortunately it didn’t last long. A big wind blew through and balloons started tipping and swaying. So most crews stopped filling their balloons and many that were filled up, brought them down. Only 4 balloons ended up launching and there were two others that filled up, but never flew.
Honestly, it didn’t matter to us, or our children. We had so much fun watching the balloons. The best part is that you are so close. You can walk right up the balloons, look in their baskets, and talk to the pilots. You can watch them blow up and lift off from just a few feet away. Our boys said that we have to come back every year, even after only one balloon had lifted off. They were obviously having fun (other than our terrified two year old).
I was hoping for the amazing lift off of like 20 balloons, but even though that never happened, it was still a great adventure. We will definitely be going back to check it out another year.
The Provo Balloon Fest occurs at Bulldog Field which is directly east of the Utah Valley Regional Medical Center. We parked on the east side of the hospital and walked to the park. The address is 1100 N Freedom Blvd. Here is the link for the Provo Balloon Fest. Another fun 4th of July adventure is the Pleasant Grove Flag that hangs over Grove Creek Canyon. It’s the largest American Flag flown. It’s also Free, so check it out. More details here.