Get Connected

Events Calendar

The Great Reno Balloon Race

Rancho San Rafael Regional Park
September 6, 2013 -September 8, 2013

The World's Largest FREE hot-air ballooning event!
The 32nd annual Great Reno Balloon Race attracts nearly 100 balloons with up to 20 special shapes and is one of Reno’s most colorful and spectacular events.  Sure, it might be a bit earlier than you're used to waking up, but you won't regret it for moment!
Activities include a Glow Show and Dawn Patrol which are an amazing pre-dawn spectacle as balloons twinkle against the dark sky.  In the incredible mass ascension, the skies fill with colorful balloons.  Special-shaped balloons are always a spectator favorite and some will be making their first appearance at the festival this year.  On Friday, is the new SUPER-GLOW show featuring over 30 glowing balloons choreographed to music.  Balloon Boulevard will feature a variety of food, crafts, art and souvenirs. 
The Balloon Race has won many awards over the years including 'Best Special Event in Reno' and 'Best Special Event in Northern Nevada.' 
Rancho San Rafael Regional Park
1595 N. Sierra Street (just 1.5 miles north of downtown Reno)
Specialty balloon shapes scheduled to make an appearance this year include Spyderpig, Sushi, Hummingbird (who will be making her U.S. inagural flight debut), Betty Jean the Butterfly, Pepsi Football, Anne (ladybug), Gus T Guppy, Panda Party, Pencil Boy, Lemon, Cen'tre Stage and Smokey Bear. For a complete list and photos of all of the colorful balloons, click here.
Schedule of Events
Thursday, September 5
6:45am -- Preview Day Launch (Sponsors and invited Media)

Friday, September 6
5:15am -- Super Glow Show *NEW*
6:45am -- Mass Ascension Launch
9:30am -- E.L. Cord Foundation Tissue Paper Balloon Launch
4:30am-10am -- Shopping along Balloon Boulevard
Saturday, September 7
5:00am -- Glow Show
5:30am -- Dawn Patrol
6:45am -- Mass Ascension Launch
5:00am-10am -- Pajama Party
8:00am-8:30am -- Bed-Head Competition Judging
4:30am-10am -- Shopping along Balloon Boulevard
Sunday, September 8 
5:00am -- Glow Show
5:30am -- Dawn Patrol
6:45am -- Mass Ascension Launch
4:30am-10am -- Shopping along Balloon Boulevard
Parking and Transportation
For detailed information on where to park in or around Rancho San Rafael Park, click here
Handicapped Parking:  Handicapped parking is available for vehicles with a handicap placard or license plate; enter at any gate to the Park and you will be directed.
Foot Power:  Rancho San Rafael Park is just 1.5 miles north of downtown Reno.  If you're staying, or parking, in downtown Reno, it's great exercise if you wanted to walk (note:  it is uphill going to the park).  
Paid Parking:  There will be paid public parking available at Rancho San Rafael, managed by Reno South Rotary, for a $10 donation to the event. The lots are located on the corner of Sierra Street and McCarran Blvd. as well as on Coleman Street. These lots are a short walking distance from the field but are popular so may fill up quickly.
In-the-gate VIP Parking passes are sold out for this year's event.
Public Transportation on Citifare:  RTC will offer convenient express public transportation service every 30 minutes to Rancho San Rafael for just $2 (one way fare) for adults and $1 (one way fare) for youths and seniors.  For more details and pick-up points, click here.



Contact Info

Visit Web Site


Rancho San Rafael Regional Park

1595 N. Sierra Street Reno, NV 89503


Newsletter Signup

Signup for our e-mail newsletters so you don't miss out on deals, entertainment and events that are important to you.


Getaway Planner

Thinking of checking out Reno, but not sure that it's the place for you? It is, but you can ask for this planner to show you.

Get Planner


Enter our free contests with fabulous prizes like trips, dinners, concerts, tickets, golf, events, vacations, and more.

View All