The mission of the Great Reno Balloon Race is to provide a premier, safe, family-oriented/tourist-attractive, visually dramatic event that celebrates the joy of flight while remaining free to the public.
The Great Reno Balloon Race is the largest free hot-air ballooning event in the world. During three days in early September, you can look up into the Reno skies and see a rainbow of hot air balloons soaring about. From its humble beginnings in 1982 with just 20 balloons, The Great Reno Balloon Race has taken flight with up to 100 balloons each year. The idea was to create an event that would keep visitors in town the weekend between the State Fair and the Reno Air Races and 33 years later, it is known as a world-renowned, and locally, a beloved community tradition.
Taking place just a few miles north of downtown Reno, the event enchants both young and old with its vibrant colors and inspiring music. The Balloon Race has won many awards over the years including ‘Best Special Event in Reno’ and ‘Best Special Event in Northern Nevada.’ With an average of 125,000 spectators attending the event each year, the number of lives touched by the beautiful spectacle continues to rise just like the balloons themselves.
Arrive early as there is limited parking at the event site. Park for free at the University’s north lots but remember that cars must be removed by 10 a.m. Parking also will be available at the corner of N. Sierra St. and McCarran Blvd. for a donation to the event.
Bring lawn chairs, sleeping bags or blankets if you want to sit rather than walk around. Please use the designated blanket area or sit along the very edge of the launch field. If you bring chairs sit so you don’t block the view of those with blankets. Remember to stay clear of the balloon launch sites and please relocate if asked to do so by an event official, pilot or launch crew.
Remember to bring your camera! The awe inspiring sights will bring out the photographer in you. We encourage you to enter your photos in the 2015 Amateur Photo Contest.
Make sure to walk around and enjoy the park! In addition to a beautiful arboretum and museum, there are huge lawn areas to the west of the concessions that are perfect for laying down a blanket. So just sit back, relax and enjoy the peaceful show!