The Great Forest Park Balloon Race
The oldest and most well-attended FREE Hot-Air Balloon event in the world. The race, celebrating its 43rd anniversary this year, is unique in that it originates from the middle of a major city, St. Louis. Attendance is free to more than 150,000 spectators who come out to watch 70 world-class balloon pilots compete in a race that is almost as exciting from the ground as it is in the air.
Friday, Sept. 20
5:00 P.M. – FESTIVITIES BEGIN
Plan ahead, find the perfect viewing area for you and your family and join us for dinner at Central Fields! Enjoy tasty fare from food trucks, concessionaires, and activities – all open beginning at 5 p.m. Or pack your own (soft-sided coolers, please) and settle in at one of the Enterprise Family Picnic areas!
6:00 P.M. – LIVE MUSIC FROM BOOGIE CHYLD ON THE MARYVILLE UNIVERSITY MAIN STAGE
DUSK UNTIL 9 P.M. – BALLOON GLOW OFFICIALLY BEGINS
The balloons “glow” like huge fireflies, a truly magical scene, and one not to be missed! The balloons do not launch during the balloon glow but for a portion of the evening (weather permitting) the rope line will be released, and spectators will be invited to walk around to enjoy the view and chat with pilots and crew.
9:15 P.M.— PNC BANK FIREWORKS FINALE
Saturday, Sept. 21
12:00 P.M. – THE GREAT FOREST PARK BALLOON RACE FESTIVITIES BEGIN
- Maryville University Main Stage featuring DJ Reggie
- Enterprise Family Picnic Areas Open
- Purina Children’s Entertainment Area Opens Featuring:
- Purina Pro Plan Performance Team
- Children’s Hospital Activities
- PNC Bank Mobile Learning Adventure
- Performances from location St. Louis dance and theatre troupes
- Inflatables, games, giveaways
- Midway concessions, food trucks and sponsor activities begin – including fun and giveaways from Phillips 66, MO Lottery, Marcus Wehrenberg Theatres and more.
3:00 P.M. – SKYDIVERS TAKE FLIGHT
3:30 P.M. – OPENING CEREMONIES
4:30 P.M. – PNC BANK “HARE” BALLOON LAUNCHES
4:45 P.M. – “HOUND” BALLOONS LAUNCH