Gather with more than 25,000 spectators to experience approximately 25 of these magical giants close-up as part of the ever popular Balloon Fest. Balloons fly each morning on July 2, 3 and 4 from 6:00am to 8am. Families and children may walk around the balloons as they inflate. Make sure and arrive at 6:00am to see the balloons inflate! Pilots participate in the Hare and the Hound competition where "hound" balloons drop bean bags onto a target laid out by the "hare." Pilots obtain additional points through jousting as they attempt to pop large balloons with sharp sticks 200 to 300 feet above the ground. Top pilots from around the nation come to compete in this unique and difficult event. The majority of the Balloon Fest committee have been working together since the inception of this event 34 years ago. Our thanks go out to these wonderful long-term volunteers!