Glow Show at Great Reno Balloon Races

Photo By: Chris Holloman

Pajama party at Balloon Races

Photo By: Chris Holloman

Great Reno Balloon Race setup

Photo By: Sydney Martinez

Shadows against balloon at Great Reno Balloon Race

Photo By: Sydney Martinez

Balloon Trading Card
Specialty Shaped Balloons at Great Reno Balloon Races

Photo By: Great Reno Balloon Race

Mass ascension at Great Reno Balloon Races 2015

Photo By: Chris Holloman

Great Reno Balloon Race

Photo By: Sydney Martinez

Pilot and crew land at the Great Reno Balloon Races

Photo By: Sydney Martinez

Ballooning In The Biggest Little City

By SYDNEY MARTINEZ | August 2015
Updated: April 2020

Ballooning In The Biggest Little City | SYDNEY MARTINEZ

Get Your Glow On

We cant argue with yourolling out of bed on a crisp September morning around 4am isnt exactly easy. What we can tell you is that the payoff is big, HUGE. And the reason, you ask? DAWN PATROL. A total signature event of the Great Reno Balloon Race, a small group of balloons rise into the dawn sky to divvy up an unmatched light show. As temperatures drastically change as the sun rises, this stunt is a risky one, and requires the expertise of master pilots who trot the globe to show this impressive skill off. Not only do the balloons glow, challenging the changing morning light, but are also are synched to choreographed music, making for a cant-believe-its-real show.

Attend The Largest [and probably the most awesome] Pajama Party, Ever

You might be waking up super early on a weekend, but the beauty of it all is that you can wear your PJs in public. Plus, theres even a best bed-head contest if you really want to knock it over the fence. Winning!

You Can Get So Close to the Balloons, Guys. It's Crazy.

Unlike tons of other events, at the Great Reno Balloon Race you can actually get crazy-close to the balloons. As in, melt-your-face-off close. You'll certainly want to be careful where you step, but with no real restrictions you can literally walk right up to these beauties and get a first-rate view of the pilots and crew members and they're prepping for launch. 

Cant-Believe-It's-Real Photo Ops

As if that wasn't cool enough to begin with, youll have photo ops unfolding in front of you like THIS.

Trading Cards Too?!

If youre anything like us, youll definitely be geeking out over the pilot cards as much as we are. Little to most people know, each pilot and crew has their own trading cards that show a picture of the balloon, its name and stats on where theyre traveling from. Youre going to want to get in on this.

Smokey The Bear annnd Darth Vader? Double Bonus.

Don't make the mistake of expecting just boring old rainbow balloons either. At the Great Reno Balloon Race, plan on seeing some funky shapes, like the Wells Fargo Stagecoach, the Smokey the Bear and even Yoda. Get a load of this, a crew of storm troopers even escort a Darth Vadar balloon. Darth Vadar, guys.


If all that isnt enough to send you into a delightful sensory overload, a mind numbing 100 balloons will launch in unison, sending you into the best sort of sensory overload imaginable. A silky, Technicolor dream world right in the heart of Reno, whoda thunk?

The View From the Top is Sooooooooooooo Good.

The view from the ground is totally nuts, a total photographers dream. But, if youre lucky enough to score a ride in one of these beauties, the Truckee Meadows is insanely beautiful from above. We could get used to this.

Landing is just as cool as the mass ascent. Period.

Equally as cool as the mass ascension, balloons will start to drop down to land all over downtown Reno. If stick around Rancho San Rafael Park long enough, youll be able to get an intimate view of just how amazing the entire operation is, and if youre lucky, maybe even get chummy with the crew. Yaaasssss.

For information and dates regarding the 2017 Great Reno Balloon Races, click here


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