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Up, up and away!

29 November 2013

The Northampton Balloon Festival is one of the most popular events in our show calendar with people and families across the country flocking to see the sights and enjoy the various associated activities.

The first Balloon Festival was held in 1990 and has risen in popularity ever since. The 2013 festival was the fifth to be held here at the park.

The festival takes place during three days at the height of the summer holidays so it’s perfect for bringing youngsters along as there’s so much to see and do. It’s a magical and exhilarating event that we think everyone should experience at least once.

With balloon flights at 6am and 6pm, dependant on the weather, it’s the perfect opportunity to pack up a picnic breakfast. Or even a travel barbecue, fry up some bacon sandwiches and enjoy the sights of the balloons while tucking into some great grub on the go.

There’s always a real buzz on the show fields whenever the Balloon Festival takes place and there’s lots to do throughout the day including fun fair rides, craft tents and food courts to visit. Depending on our show calendar there might also be a car rally to catch as well.

The festival is marked as a special event in the calendars of hot air balloon pilots across the country as it’s a great opportunity for them to show off their balloons. They’re as keen as the spectators for the balloons to inflate and get off the ground but the weather can sometimes cause problems.


Once the balloons are in the skies they can be seen for miles. There’s always a huge variety too, from popular characters and branded balloons to funny shapes. However, those attending are always kept a closely guarded secret until the first day of the festival.

A special balloon glow takes place on the Saturday evening where the balloons turn into giant lanterns and pulsate to music. It is a magical sight to see and takes lots of dedication and precision from the balloon pilots. It’s a great opportunity for families to enjoy some quality time together sitting under the stars and watching the show.

We managed to catch up with Stewart Wilyman, Organiser of the Northampton Balloon Festival, at the 2013 event, he said:

“The Balloon Festival is an event that lots of people look forward to and we were thrilled to host it at the park for the fifth time.

“The balloon flight was spectacular and a great opportunity for people to see a variety of balloons in the skies over Northamptonshire.”

The next Balloon Festival will take place from Friday15th – Sunday 17th August 2014.