Bayou Road Balloon Festival: 6 Things to Expect at the Area’s First Hot Air Balloon Fest

A new hot air balloon festival takes off this weekend.

St. Bernard Parish hosts the first hot air balloon festival in the Greater New Orleans area. Families can experience the Bayou Road Balloon Festival debuting this weekend at Sidney D. Torres Memorial Park in Chalmette.

Highlights of the festival include a nightly balloon glow, tethered balloon rides, live music, food vendors and carnival rides.

Here's what you can expect at this inaugural festival.

Here are the basics.

The inaugural Bayou Road Balloon Festival debuts at Sidney D. Torres Memorial Park this weekend. Festival hours are Friday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Single-day passes are $5. Weekend passes are $10. You can buy tickets online here. You can also purchase cash only tickets at the gate.

You can experience tethered rides in a hot air balloon.

You can get a glimpse of what it’s like to be in a hot air balloon. The festival will offer tethered hot air balloon rides during the festival. Hot air balloon pilots will take you up about 50 feet. You’ll hover to see the festival grounds before returning to the ground. About five people can fit into a basket. Tickets are $20 cash and can be purchased at the festival.

Ride Times:

Friday, Nov. 10 | 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 11 | 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 12 | 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

A picturesque nightly balloon glow happens each evening.

One of the highlights of the festival is the balloon glow that happens at dusk each evening. The festival will feature more than a dozen hot air balloons creating a spectacular night glow. The hot air balloon pilots will inflate their balloons and light the fire underneath. The result is picturesque and definitely something you don’t want to miss.

There's fun for all ages -- including carnival rides and a 'Land of the Giants.'

There’s really a little something for everyone. Kids — and the young at heart — can enjoy carnival rides. You can purchase tickets and bands at the festival. The “Land of the Giants” and beer garden brings giant games and activities for adults including kick darts, a human foosball arena and Giant Jenga. Craft vendors will also be on-site. There’s also a football viewing lounge for fans who don’t want to miss the game. It’s a weekend for the whole family to enjoy.

Groove to some tunes from local bands.

Of course, you can’t have a festival without great music. Several local and regional bands will hit the stage each day of the festival including Category 6, Pocket Aces Brass Band, Christian Serpas and Ghost Town, Cypress Pop Trio, Voodoo Gumbo and others. Get ready to two-step!

See the full music schedule.

Enjoy lots of food from local vendors.

Festival organizers say they’ll have quite a few food options from local vendors. We got the scoop on some of the items they will dish out for festival-goers. Some of the options include crawfish bread, po-boys, crawfish beignets, BBQ shrimp pasta, and muffalettas. Attendees can also enjoy carnival-style foods such as corn dogs, chicken on a stick, fried Oreo’s, funnel cakes and cotton candy.

See the full list of food vendors.