Things to Do: Hot Air Balloon Rides in Statesville

Hot Air Balloon Rides in Statesville

Does your bucket list include an adventure with a large wicker basket, colorful fabric and champagne? We agree picnics are nice, but we are talking about taking it to the skies via hot air balloon rides in Statesville.

Hot Air Balloon Capital of the East

Did you know that our community has a long history with hot air balloons? In fact, the 1960s saw a re-birth of hot air balloons and flights thanks to pressurized tanks of propane gas. The gas could safely heat air captured in massive nylon bags.

Statesville’s connection to hot air balloons was woven when one of the four modern founding fathers—Tracy Barnes—landed here. According to a blog on, between 1961 and 1967, he built 12 balloons, set altitude records and traveled coast-to-coast across the U.S. in a hot air balloon!

High-Flying History

Eventually, Barnes Balloons became FireFly Balloons in Statesville around 1972. Two years later, the company hosted the first National Balloon Rally as an event to bring ballooners back! The family-friendly event invited hot air balloon buyers back to the area for a week of camping, flying and fun.

Now known as the Carolina BallonFest, this popular event is back! There will be daily flights, static displays, live entertainment, activities and more. Tickets will soon be on sale for the weekend of Oct. 15-17, 2021. A good way to stay up-to-date is to like them on Facebook. Ticket prices range from $10 to $40 for weekend passes. A portion of the proceeds benefits local charities.

Can’t Wait to Fly?

No problem! Hot air balloon rides in Statesville are an option seven days a week, all year round. No need for a party or special event. Make any day a special event by booking a hot air balloon ride with one of several local fliers.

Below is a quick list of a few places booking flights.

Big oh! Balloons

Celebrating their 40th year in business this year, Big oh! Balloons is still giving two-passenger flights twice a day. The best times to fly are at sunrise and sunset due to wind conditions. This husband and wife team aim to give each guest an unforgettable flying experience. For questions, pricing, availability or to book, call (704) 872-7761 or email them at [email protected].

As a matter of fact, you can book your Carolina BalloonFest morning or evening flight with them now too!

Almost Heaven Balloon

Dress for an outdoor adventure and get ready to feel the joy of flying with Almost Heaven Balloon! Ask questions, make a reservation or book a balloon as a tethered ride or static display at your next event. Call them at (704) 980-9719 or email [email protected] to take to the skies.

Air-Olina Aviation

Air-Olina Aviation is not offering passenger rides, but they are still offering pilot and crew instruction. Tethered rides, static displays, custom mapping and other corporate promotional opportunities are available as well.

To find out more about instruction, availability and pricing, click here.

Want to take a hot air balloon ride, but not immediately? Click here to be added to their waiting list!


On clear days, passengers on hot air balloon rides in Statesville can see for miles! Take in spectacular views all the way to the Brushy Mountains, Charlotte, Winston-Salem, Pilot Mountain and hear the creek bubbling below the branches.

Whether you’re in a hot air balloon or not, make any day an adventure! Come to Summer Pointe Apartment Homes to get settled in Statesville! Keep exploring online by reading our other blogs!