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.
The Great Reno Balloon Race is the largest free hot-air ballooning event in the world. During three days in early September, you can look up into the Reno skies and see a rainbow of hot air balloons soaring about. From its humble beginnings in 1982 with just 20 balloons, The Great Reno Balloon Race has taken flight with up to 100 balloons each year. The idea was to create an event that would keep visitors in town the weekend between the State Fair and the Reno Air Races and 35 years later, it is known as a world-renowned, and locally, a beloved community tradition.
Taking place just a few miles north of downtown Reno, the event enchants both young and old with its vibrant colors and inspiring music. The Balloon Race has won many awards over the years including ‘Best Special Event in Reno’ and ‘Best Special Event in Northern Nevada.’ With an average of 120,000 spectators attending the event each year, the number of lives touched by the beautiful spectacle continues to rise just like the balloons themselves.