2024 National Balloon Classic Guide

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2024 National Balloon Classic Guide for Families

It’s that time of year and you will see lots of hot air balloons being released into the open sky in central Iowa. Every year Indianola’s National Balloon Classic fills the Iowa sky with brilliant colors and beauty in Indianola, Iowa. For many, this is a favorite summer event for most families. This year’s balloon festival begins Friday, July 26th, and goes on every day until Saturday, August 3rd.

This special event is not only filled with balloons but there is live music and entertainment, kids’ activities, fabulous food vendors, fireworks, and more! An entire nine-day event filled with great family fun. Below you will find an outline of what you can expect each day. 

Ticket Prices

You must purchase tickets online for this annual event. No tickets are sold at the gate.

  • Online – $10 plus ticketing fees (parking fee is included) for people 6 years and older. Ages 5 years and under are free.
  • Children ages five and under are admitted free of charge.


Like most hot air balloon festivals, the National Balloon Classic offers a full schedule of family-friendly events including fantastic fireworks, live entertainment, hot air balloons, and much more. Below is the 2024 schedule. Download the entire guide and schedule. Please remember all events and schedules are weather permitting. There are no refunds, but you can use the ticket for another date of the 2024 National Balloon Classic. Keep an eye on the National Balloon Classic social media pages to stay up to date on weather conditions. 

The schedule is from National Balloon Classic Visitors Guide.

What is Nite Glow Extravaganza? 

This is when inflated balloons light up the dark skies! The pilots fire their burners and the balloons create a mystical glow. This is such a fun sight to see for the night owls.

What is Dawn Patrol?

Early birds can enjoy this one-of-a-kind view. Enjoy the balloon glow during an early morning flight.

What is the Balloon Flight Over Des Moines?

Details have not been released yet.

What is Mass Ascension?

Mass Ascension is when all 100+ balloons launch from the Memorial Balloon Field during the same time frame. 

Some tips

  • No outside food and drink are allowed. Food concessions and beverage options are available for purchase.
  • Make sure you bring cash. Cash is only accepted. There are ATMs on the grounds.
  • No pets.
  • Keep an eye on social media each day if you suspect the weather may cancel the flight for the day. All evening flights are launched at 6:30 p.m.
  • Get there early! Traffic can be chaotic so plan ahead. Gates open at 4 p.m.
  • Bring blankets and/or a lawn chair.

All dates, times, and events have been added to our event calendar. Download our FREE app to have easy access to what is going on.


Erin Huiatt

Erin is a reliable resource and stepping stone for women and families to find support and make connections within our community. She wants families to feel confident to reach out and ask for help and advice to get pointed in the right direction. She enjoys traveling and exploring with her two children in tow!

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