The Plano Balloon Festival has been providing its colorful spectacle to the community for over 40 years, earning the city its moniker as the balloon capital of Texas.

People who came to the event as children are now returning with kids of their own, Executive Director Jo Via said. It has become a legacy event that residents can look forward to every year with family-friendly music, shows and activities.

What's happening?

Kicking things off at Oak Point Park on Sept. 21 will be a skydiver's jump followed by a concert in collaboration with the Plano Symphony Orchestra. Alongside the concert will be a balloon glow, in which balloons will be lit and hover low above the ground, looking like lightbulbs against the darkening sky, Via said. The festival will also feature a hot air balloon launch with 37 different balloons.

“It doesn’t matter if you're 2 years old or 102 years old; people are mesmerized by that sight,” she said.

The 2023 festival will be the second festival since the pandemic shutdown. New for this year will be hot air balloons built in different shapes, such as zebras, dogs and haunted houses, as well as a drone light show featuring 200 drones from Sky Elements Drone Shows, Via said. Children will also be able to enjoy a play zone complete with inflatables, mechanical rides and a kids art tent.

What else?

The festival partners with local nonprofit agencies to help meet event staffing needs. Proceeds from ticket sales are then donated to the agencies as compensation who can then use the money to serve Collin County, Via said.

“When somebody comes through the gate and buys a ticket, a piece of that money is going to go back into the community in programs and services run by other local area nonprofits,” she said.

Plano officials are proud to be distinguished as the balloon capital of Texas, and leaders of the nonprofit behind the festival, Plano Balloon Festival Inc., are proud to be the resource that puts it on, Via said.

“It's a situation where the balloons are beautiful,” she said. “It's a kaleidoscope of color. They’re peaceful, and when they are glowing, it's such an amazing sight.”

Tickets and parking information can be found here.
  • Sept. 21, 5-10 p.m.; Sept. 22, 4-10 p.m.; Sept. 23, 6 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sept. 24, 6-11 a.m.
  • $5-$15
  • Oak Point Park, 5901 Los Rios Blvd., Plano