KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Great Smoky Mountain Hot Air Balloon Festival is returning to east Tennessee in a big way.

The festival will include 12 balloonists to paint the Smoky Mountains sky in breathtaking colors. There will also be live entertainment, crafters, as well as a food truck court and a beer tent.

Speaking about the event, Little Arrow Outdoor CEO and festival organizer, Carmen Simpher, expressed excitement over the event’s fifth year.

“The Hot Air Balloon Festival is such a visually stunning backdrop of mountains and hot air balloons,” Simpher said. “It is a mesmerizing display, and I am happy that we are having this festival in Townsend another year.”

The 2022 Great Smoky Mountain Hot Air Balloon Festival is set to take place Saturday, August 20th from 4 to 9 p.m. at the Townsend Visitor Center located at 7906 East Lamar Alexander Parkway.

Additionally, on August 19th a VIP event will take place in the same location from 5 – 10 p.m. That evening offers a private and intimate experience with music, food and a tethered Balloon ride. Funds raised from VIP ticket sales go to the Townsend/Cades Cove Gateway Alliance (TCGA) non-profit.  
Gates open at 4 p.m. with general admission costing $5 per guest with advance parking costing $20. Parking passes are offered on the website under the tickets section. Day of Festival parking is $25 at the gate and guests who park in private lots or are dropped off will pay a $5 admission fee.