Event Highlights

The Great Reno Balloon Race is proud to feature the following events for your pleasure and enjoyment:

GRBR’s Cloud 9 VIP Club
The Great Reno Balloon Race wants you to experience the event as a VIP! Click here to learn more about this exciting feature.

Glow Shows
Beginning at 5:00am on Saturday and Sunday, a handful of glowing balloons will act as a beacon to those sleepy spectators making their way to the launch field. Friday morning only is the Super Glow Show starting at 5:15 a.m. This new feature showcases 20+ balloons glowing and twinkling to music across the field.

Dawn Patrol
A trademark of The Great Reno Balloon Race worth the early rise, the show features a handful of balloons that are qualified to fly in the dark. This is a dangerous task as atmospheric conditions change drastically as the sun begins to rise. Balloonists glow, twinkle and fly along with choreographed music across a darkened sky, leaving the crowd awe struck. Saturday and Sunday only starting at 5:30 a.m.

T-6 Formation Fly Over
Each morning during the national anthem, just as the American flag is presented for Mass Ascension, spectators will be thrilled by a T-6 formation fly over. Thanks to our partnership with National Championship Air Races, visitors can experience just a brief taste of what the Air Races are all about.

Mass Ascension Launch
Starting at 6:45am on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, nearly 100 balloons will launch from Rancho San Rafael Park. The splendor of these unique and beautiful balloons thrills the crowd as they enjoy the multitude of vibrant sights and sounds in the early morning light.

Balloon Boulevard
Crafts, souvenirs, food and warm drinks await spectators at the concession line. Official posters may also be purchased here along with official Balloon Race clothing and memorabilia. We encourage you to visit and support our vendors as they are part of the reason this event continues to be free.

Tethered Rides
After Mass Ascension, the RE/MAX balloon provides tethered rides for children. These rides are available to the general public for a $5.00 donation to the “Children’s Miracle Network.”
Thanks to the generous support of the Wilbur May Foundation, the Children’s Cabinet is able to provide tethered rides to disadvantaged children. These rides are not available to the general public.

E. L. Cord Tissue Paper Balloon Launch
The Great Reno Balloon Race’s E.L. Cord Tissue Paper Balloon Launch is held on Friday of the event at 9:30 a.m. on the launch field. Up to 2,000 young students from Washoe County School District and surrounding areas will make their way down to the field to launch colorful hand-made hot-air balloons that they created in their classrooms as part of their curriculum.
The students will discover the wonder and excitement of lighter-than-air flight as they launch their model hot-air balloons off of mini-burners with the help of dedicated volunteers from the community. This special program is made possible by a generous donation from the E.L. Cord Foundation and the support of the Washoe County School District.
If you are a Washoe County school teacher or are just interested in making a tissue paper hot-air balloon, click here for detailed instructions. Please email us if you have any additional questions.

Special thanks to Lou Loftin and Kelly Cannon with the Washoe County School District for their continued support and dedication to The Great Reno Balloon Race and for the many hours they have spent in organizing the E.L. Cord Tissue Paper Balloon Launch.



The mission of the Great Reno Balloon Race is to provide a premier, safe, family-oriented/tourist-attractive,
visually dramatic event that celebrates the joy of flight while remaining free to the public.

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