Celebrating 31 years, this year's theme is "Around the World." It’s one of Reno’s most colorful and spectacular events where one hundred of the nation’s top hot air balloonists participate in multiple competitions in a mass ascension. A trademark of the race is the Down Patrol, which take place before the sun rises and provides and amazing spectacle as balloons glow and twinkle against the dark sky. A wide selection of food, crafts, art, souvenirs and uplifting music complement this celebration of flight.
Cloud 9 VIP Club
For the first time ever, The Great Reno Balloon Race is hosting a VIP club! The Cloud 9 VIP Club offers individuals and businesses the opportunity to have a front-row seat with the luxury of convenience.
Members of the club will receive the following:
-Heated indoor/patio outdoor seating on the field
-Catered breakfast by the Eldorado Hotel Casino
-VIP Parking Passes with transportation from your car to the tent
-$10 Balloon Bucks to the merchandise booth
-A Special Addition champagne glass
-Hosted bar with champagne, bloody marys and mimosas
-VIP Badges for easy in and out access
-$75 for Adults
-$50 for Children
-$750 for a table of 10
Don’t miss out on this great opportunity! Nowhere else on the field can you experience the comfort of sitting in a clear, heated tent with a 360 degree view! Click here
to get your member pass!
Beginning at 5:00am on Saturday and Sunday, glowing balloons will act as a beacon to those sleepy spectators making their way to the launch field. Each year different balloons participate in this fun show to make way for the highly anticipated Dawn Patrol. Don't miss this year's participants!
A trademark of The Great Reno Balloon Race worth the early rise, the show features a handful of balloons that are qualified to fly in the dark. This is a dangerous task as atmospheric conditions change drastically as the sun begins to rise. Balloonists glow, twinkle and fly along with choreographed music across a darkened sky, leaving the crowd awe struck. Saturday and Sunday only.
T-6 Formation Fly Over
Each morning during the national anthem, just as the American flag is presented for Mass Ascension, spectators will be thrilled by a T-6 formation fly over. Thanks to our partnership with National Championship Air Races, visitors can experience just a brief taste of what the Air Races are all about.
Mass Ascension Launch
Starting at 6:45am on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, over 100 balloons will launch from Rancho San Rafael Park. The splendor of these unique and beautiful balloons thrills the crowd as they enjoy the multitude of vibrant sights and sounds in the early morning light.
Crafts, souvenirs, food and warm drinks await spectators at the concession line. Official posters may also be purchased here along with official Balloon Race clothing and memorabilia. We encourage you to visit and support our vendors as they are part of the reason this event continues to be free.
Each year The Great Reno Balloon Race features a variety of special shaped balloons to the delight of our spectators. In 2012, The Great Reno Balloon Race is featuring the following special shaped balloons: Darth Vader
, Strawberry Heights
, Smokey Bear
, Planet Earth
, Party Panda
, and the Soccer Ball
. Click here
to to view these these special shaped balloons along with all other balloons participating in this year's event.