Michigan Challenge Balloonfest at Howell High School

Howell hosts the Michigan Challenge Balloonfest, June 28-30, 2019, and it's sure to delight southeast Michigan parents and kids with spectacular hot air balloon displays.

Balloon displays at the Michigan Challenge Balloonfest
Photo from the Michigan Challenge Balloonfest Facebook page

It’s a different kind of championship: One with hot air balloons! Head to Howell for the 2019 Michigan Challenge Balloonfest to enjoy all kinds of intense aerial hijinks and hot air balloon competitions. It’s all happening June 28-30, 2019 at Howell High School.

This 35th annual event boasts being a premier June event in Michigan – and has proven it time and time again with a plethora of fun events and activities that take place high above the ground.

This year, kids will be amazed as they watch skydiving stunts, aerial fly-ins and, of course, hot air balloon launches.

It’s more than that, though. This event is first and foremost a competition to see which balloon is the biggest, baddest and most beautiful.

For that reason, balloon rides aren’t offered at Balloonfest, but there are plenty of carnival rides and games and an art festival and marketplace – plus a Family Fun Tent, meet-and-greets with pilots, delicious food and much more.

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If you can’t make the full fest, Saturday evening is an absolute must for families because, at dusk, more than 20 hot-air balloons will inflate on the launch field to create an awe-inspiring scene.

Times vary for each activity, but the carnival hours are as follows:

  • Friday, June 28: 2-11 p.m.
  • Saturday, June 29: 10 a.m.-11 p.m.
  • Sunday, June 30: 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

The balloons launch 6-8 p.m. Friday and 6-8 a.m. and 6-8 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Meanwhile, the arts festival opens at 4 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday-Sunday.

Admission to the festival is $5 per person per day or $10 for the whole weekend. Weekend passes must be purchased in advance. Parking is free and ride wristbands are $25.

For more information on the 2019 Michigan Challenge Balloonfest, or details on other family fun things to do this weekend in metro Detroit, Ann Arbor and beyond, see the Metro Parent calendar.

This post was originally published in 2016 and is updated regularly. 

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