Skip to main content

2024 Michigan Challenge Balloonfest

June 28 – 30, 2024
Howell High School, 1200 W Grand River Rd., Howell, MI 48843
(517) 546-3920

The Michigan Challenge Balloonfest is one of the premier summertime activities in Michigan, offering entertainment for the entire family. This community event has activities planned for everyone – from carnival rides, kid attractions, fireworks, and the always-popular balloon launches, fly-ins, and evening glow. There are lots of events and attractions planned this year, and we look forward to seeing you there!

Admission Fees:

  • $5.00 per person, per day.
  • Children 3 & under admitted free.
  • Parking is free. 
  • A limited number of weekend wristbands for the Balloon Festival ONLY will be available for $10.00 per person on Friday, June 23rd at admission gates OR at the Howell Area Chamber of Commerce located at 123 E. Washington St. while supplies last. 
  • Carnival Ride Daily Passes are an additional fee and may be found online or purchased at the carnival ticket booth. This is a separate cost from festival admission.
  • NO REFUNDS

Rules & Reminders

Mother Nature does not always provide safe weather conditions for hot air balloon operations. Our balloon operations team in conjunction with the local fire department are trained and qualified to evaluate the weather forecast and current conditions and decide if it is safe to operate the balloons. As much as we hate to disappoint the public, our priority is the safety of our guests, pilots, and crew. We will notify you via public announcement if we need to cancel the balloon portion of the event. NO REFUNDS.

For the comfort and safety of all who attend the Michigan Challenge Balloonfest, please follow these basic guidelines:

Remember to bring:

    • family and friends
    • a jacket for the evening
    • a camera to take photos
    • comfortable walking shoes
    • lawn chairs, beach chairs or blankets
    • sunglasses
    • sunscreen and bug spray
    • Please leave pets and sparklers at home for safety reasons.
    • Remember, alcoholic beverages, grilling and smoking are prohibited at the site on school grounds.
    • Balloon rides are not available during the event since the pilots are competing.
  • DRONES ARE NOT PERMITTED UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE. 
  • Visit the information booth for pilot information and meet the pilots on the launch field at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday.

FAQ’s

Mother Nature does not always provide safe weather conditions for hot air balloon operations. Our balloon operations team in conjunction with the local fire department are trained and qualified to evaluate the weather forecast and current conditions and decide if it is safe to operate the balloons. As much as we hate to disappoint the public, our priority is the safety of our guests, pilots, and crew. We will notify you via public announcement if we need to cancel the balloon portion of the event. NO REFUNDS.

The launch field is roped off and located by the main stage. For morning flights, the pilots launch from areas outside of the event grounds and fly into the launch field.

Balloon rides are not offered at the Michigan Challenge Balloonfest.

Portable restrooms are located near the Highlander Food Court Landing Zone, & Open Air Marketplace.  In fact, there are nearly 60 portable restrooms on site, and 10 hand-washing stations.

We do not have a beer tent at the Michigan Challenge Balloonfest. The event is located on school grounds and alcohol is prohibited. Check out Balloons and Brews located downtown.

Food vendors are located at the Highlander Food Court, in the Landing Zone and in the carnival. The menu includes festival food, beverages, ethnic food, and specialty treats.

Because the balloons only launch in the morning and evening, daytime events include entertainment, activities, and attractions for the entire family. See here

There is a pilot meet and greet at 5 p.m. on Saturday on the launch field, but the best time to see the balloons is during the launch times.

There is handicapped parking located at Red, Blue, and Green parking lots on the Balloonfest grounds.

Balloonfest is located on the grounds of Howell High School (1200 W. Grand River Rd., Howell, MI 48843), entrances are on M-59, Highlander Way, and West Grand River Ave.

Yes, the Michigan Challenge Balloonfest is an outdoor event.

Tables and chairs are in the Highlander Food Court. Guests can bring their own chairs that can be set up around the launch field to watch the Balloon Launches.