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We want to you have the best experience possible. Here are a couple of frequently asked questions and their answers. If you have any additional questions, feel free to stop by the information booth at the event.  

  • How many balloons will be there?
    2024 will showcase up to 18 balloons.
  • 1. What time will they launch?
    The balloons will inflate around 6 am each morning. Most of the balloons will be inflight by 6:30am.
  • Is there anything that will keep the balloons from launching?
    WEATHER!! If there are any adverse weather conditions, the balloons will not be able to fly. Winds over 10 mph can keep the balloons grounded.
  • Can I ride in a balloon?
    We are able to have this festival due to the generosity of our sponsors. Balloon rides are reserved for sponsors and their designated guest. If you are interested in sponsoring a balloon, please contact Tony Alba at
  • Where do the balloons land?
    The direction and eventual landing location of the balloons is determined by the wind. You can view our flight path predictions at here. The balloons generally fly for about an hour.
  • Are there any balloon activities during the day?
    Balloons cannot fly during the heat of the day. All morning flights are completed by 8am. The festival grounds will close each day at 8:30am. The festival will reopen at 6pm on Friday and 4pm on Saturday. The balloons will glow around 8pm each night. You can view the full event schedule here.
  • What else will be at the festival?
    The evening festival activities will include live music, retail vendors, food vendors, and a beer garden. (In addition to the balloon glow)
  • Will there be food?
    Yes, food vendors will be onsite.
  • Will there be alcohol?
    Yes, a beer and wine garden will be onsite. (You must show proof of age) Please note that you must pay with cash!
  • Can we pay vendors with credit cards?
    Many vendors accept credit cards. However, the data service to process online transactions can be very unreliable at this location. We strongly suggest bringing cash for purchases. The beer garden is cash only!
  • Is this event open to children?
    Yes, while there are not many kid focused activities this is a family friendly event.
  • Are dogs allowed at this event?
    No. Per the Pinetop-Lakeside Town Code, domestic animals are not permitted on athletic fields. This event takes place on town baseball fields and soccer fields. Thank you for your cooperation.
  • Is there a cost to attend the festival?
    No. Attendance is FREE! Please avoid anyone trying to sell tickets to this event. That is a scam.
  • What should I bring?
    This is a BYOS event. BRING YOUR OWN SEATING. We suggest a picnic blanket or camp chairs. Don’t forget your camera!
  • Can we bring our own food and drink?
    No. You will not be allowed to bring food and beverages (other than water) into the event. We ask that you support the vendors participating in the festival.
  • Are hot air balloons safe in extreme fire conditions?
    Hot air balloons are classified as Federally Registered Aircraft and as such must adhere to the safety requirements prescribed by the FAA. The balloon envelopes are made of flame retardant material and all pilots carry fire extinguishers in the balloon basket. Balloons are powered by propane and the tanks are equipped with a shutoff valve that will immediately cut the flame’s fuel source if necessary. Organizers of the White Mountains Balloon Festival have worked in concert with the Timber Mesa Fire Department, Pinetop Fire Department, Navajo County Emergency Management, the U. S. Forest Service, and local law enforcement agencies to create a safety plan. Each of these agencies has given approval for the balloons to fly. The potential for a balloon-caused fire poses a much smaller risk than vehicles dragging chains, abandoned or illegal campfires, shooting firearms or even using a backyard charcoal grill. And, because we know the flight path the balloons will follow, emergency crews are able to respond within seconds in the case of an emergency. This event is organized by people who live and work here in the community, and they have the safety of our area as their top priority.
Presented by:
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