Michigan Challenge Balloonfest at Howell High School

Howell hosts this hot air balloon spectacle June 23-25, 2017, and it's sure to delight southeast Michigan parents and kids.


It’s a different kind of championship: One with hot air balloons! Head to Howell for the 2017 Michigan Challenge Balloonfest to enjoy all kinds of intense aerial hijinks and hot air balloon competitions. It’s all happening June 23-25, 2017 at Howell High School.

This 33rd annual event boasts being a premier summertime 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.

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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, courtesy of the Livingston County YMCA, meet-and-greets with the stars of The Emoji Movie, batting cages, a photo booth and more.

If you can’t make the full fest, Saturday evening is a 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 23: 2-11 p.m.
  • Saturday, June 24: 10 a.m.-11 p.m.
  • Sunday, June 25: 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

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 $15 for a day pass or $25 for a weekend pass (this covers admission for everyone in your car and parking). Ride wristbands are $25.

For more information on the 2017 Michigan Challenge Balloonfest, see the Metro Parent calendar listing.

This post was originally published in 2016 and has been updated for 2017. 

Photo from the Michigan Challenge Balloonfest Facebook page