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Frequently Asked Questions


How much do the glow and race cost to watch?

Nothing! The New Haven Balloon Race and Glow are free and open to the public. There is no cost for admission into the Balloon Glow or Balloon Race. Concessions, souvenirs and certain special activities will be available for purchase.


Am I allowed to bring pets?

Yes, pets may join you at the event as long as they attend on a leash. Please take into considerations your pet’s comfort level with large crowds, heat and loud noise before you bring them along for the fun.

Can I bring a cooler to the balloon glow and race?



Can I bring chairs to the balloon glow and race?



Are food and drink available?

Yes, food and drinks will be available for purchase. Most vendors are cash only.  

Where will the balloons land?

Hot-air balloons follow the wind. We have no way of knowing which direction the balloons will travel until race day. Look at the forecast the day of the race to see which direction the winds are supposed to come from (and head towards).  The balloons land in different areas every year depending on which way the wind is blowing.  You never know when a balloon might land on your street or a parking lot near your home!

How is the winner of the race determined?

The New Haven Balloon Race presented by Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company of New Haven is a Hare and Hound-style race. The “Hare” balloons launches first and leads the pack, launching and landing first. Once it lands, the team lays an “X” out on the ground as a target. The other “Hound” balloons launch in pursuit and the pilot who drops his birdseed/bean bag nearest the center of the target is the winner!

How close can I get to the balloons?

Friday night’s GLOW event will offer a special opportunity for spectators to get up close to the balloons and their pilots and crew. During a portion of the evening the rope line is released allowing attendees to enjoy the view, take photos and meet our world-class pilots! On Saturday, RACE DAY, according to FAA regulations pilots, race crew and event coordinators are the only people allowed on the race “field”.  But no need to worry, spectators at the event will be permitted just behind our rope line – close enough to see the action.

Are rides available for purchase?

Balloon rides are not available to the public – but feel free to contact one of our amazing private pilots after the event about purchasing a personal ride at another point throughout the year.

What happens to the event in case of bad weather?

Safety is always our number one priority for both pilots and spectators of the event.  Every effort is made to reasonably carry on with the event in spite of cold or hot weather.  High winds can delay balloon ascension and we leave the decision to launch up to each individual pilot.  High winds can delay or cancel the ascension of the balloons.  Each pilot is uniquely qualified to make the determination whether they feel comfortable flying in gusty winds.  Stay connected to Facebook and Twitter for updates!


Where should I park?

The Balloon Glow and Race are held at the New Haven City Park and is a walk through event only — not a drive through event.  Park Drive will be closed for both events and spectators are encouraged to park on Lion’s Drive or in the New Haven High School and Municipal Swimming Pool parking lots.  This year, additional parking will be available near the New Haven Youth Fair Tractor Pull pit area.  Follow the signs for parking!

PLEASE NO DRONES!  Due to Federal Aviation Association rules no drones or any other flying objects can be flown within the airspace of the balloons on race day. This rule is put into place for the safety of the balloonists and spectators. For more information on drone regulations visit


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