Medicine Hat's Rise Up Hot Air Balloon Festival


Medicine Hat's first hot air balloon festival, Rise Up.

Every May, over a dozen eye-catching hot air balloons lift off from a new location at each scheduled time, and float into the sky while the sun rises and sets.

Willy Taillon and his wife, Cindy, started the annual Rise Up Hot Air Balloon Festival in 2021, in partnership with addiction and mental health non-for-profit, Our Collective Journey.

“Seeing one balloon in the sky is very cool, but when you watch multiple take off at the same time, it really is something special,” says Willy.

The third annual family event will host flights from May 23-26, 2024. Both Friday and Saturday evenings feature a flight and balloon glow — where half of the hot air balloons are inflated, illuminated, and tethered to the ground so people can see them up close after sunset, while the other half lift off before sunset.

All day Saturday will be a free community day in Medicine Hat’s Historic Downtown, which will include a market, food trucks, and family-focused activities.

“The festival is planned for people to enjoy the beauty of the balloons and our landscape. Whether they attend the event or see us fly during any other day, they have that moment to take in and be in-awe of what they’re seeing,” says Cindy.

Depending on the wind direction, there may be a new location each day where the balloons take-off. Weather may cancel flight times as well.

Be sure to follow along and receive updates here.

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