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  • Writer's pictureLindsay Jordan

Soaring to New Heights: The Arkansas Hot Air Balloon State Championship in Harrison

Every year, the skies above Harrison, Arkansas, light up with the vibrant colors of hot air balloons during the highly anticipated Arkansas Hot Air Balloon State Championship. This thrilling event attracts balloon enthusiasts from far and wide, who gather to witness the breathtaking sight of graceful balloons floating against the picturesque backdrop of the Natural State. Join us as we delve into the magical world of hot air balloons and explore the spectacle that is the Arkansas Hot Air Balloon State Championship.

Last year we had the privilege to experience every moment and we hope you decide to spend the weekend in Harrison and enjoy this unforgettable event!

The Charm of Hot Air Balloons: Hot air balloons have captivated hearts and imaginations for centuries with their serene beauty and sense of adventure. These mesmerizing vessels rely on the simple principle of hot air rising to lift them off the ground, allowing passengers to glide effortlessly through the sky. The Arkansas Hot Air Balloon State Championship celebrates this age-old craft while showcasing the skill, precision, and artistry of modern-day ballooning.

The Championship Experience: Against the backdrop of breathtaking natural scenery of Harrison, skilled balloon pilots from different parts of Arkansas gather to compete for the coveted title of the Arkansas Hot Air Balloon State Champion.

Adventurous Balloon Rides: For those seeking a little adventure and a unique perspective on the festivities, tethered hot air balloon rides are an absolute must! Adventure seekers can book a flight, get up close and personal with the balloons, and discover the exhilarating feeling of floating gracefully above the ground. As the balloons ascend into the sky, passengers are treated to a bird's-eye view of the fun on the ground. This event is free admission, but you can enjoy a tethered ride for $20 general admission or skip the line for $30 – highly recommend you do this flight!

Spectacular Balloon Glows: One of the most anticipated events during the Arkansas Hot Air Balloon State Championship is the awe-inspiring Balloon Glow. As the sun sets and darkness falls, the balloons are inflated but do not take flight. Instead, they stand tall as enormous light bulbs, illuminating the night with vibrant colors against the backdrop of the starry sky. This mesmerizing display creates a breathtaking ambiance that truly brings the balloons to life.

Community Involvement and Festivities: The Arkansas Hot Air Balloon State Championship is not just about the competition; it's a celebration of community and all things ballooning! Alongside the main events, attendees can enjoy a variety of family-friendly activities, live performances, food vendors, and even helicopter rides! From a cornhole tournament to checking out the many great local vendors, there's something to entertain everyone throughout the weekend.

The Arkansas Hot Air Balloon State Championship in Harrison is an incredible event that showcases the grace, artistry, and exhilaration of hot air ballooning. Whether you're a balloon enthusiast or simply someone in search of a unique and memorable experience, this championship offers something for everyone.

The best time and place to view the hot air balloons flying is on Saturday and Sunday mornings from approximately 7:00 am - approximately 9:00 am at the First Baptist Church located at 1400 S. Pine St. Mark your calendars for September 8th, 9th, & 10th and get ready to witness the breathtaking sight of colorful balloons floating through the picturesque Ozark Mountains. As the balloons ascend, so too will your spirits, leaving you with memories to cherish for a lifetime.

Don’t forget to tag @ArkieTravels when you share your experience there and as always, happy adventuring!

Lindsay Jordan is the Head of Operations and Sarah's trusted right-hand at Arkie Travels. With an unwavering passion for all things Arkansas, her dedication to promoting the state shines through in her role. For the past six years, she has served as the Executive Director for the Gann Museum of Saline County, where her deep appreciation for history and love for her home state is evident in the exceptional exhibits, compelling newsletters, and captivating tours she curated.

Away from the office, Lindsay finds immense joy in experiencing the wonders of the Natural State with her family. From camping under the stars to hiking along breathtaking trails, and even exploring picturesque waterways on kayaks, she embraces these outdoor adventures wholeheartedly and is happy to share all the beauty of Arkansas with everyone around her.

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