Once a year, Temecula Valley puts on a festival that will excite anyone who has a desire to fly up, up, and away all the while enjoying great tasting wines from the vineyards of the valley. The 25th Festival had the added delight of seeing a rare 5 balloon formation lift off. I captured this not only on the photo but in a video. If you wondered how a balloon becomes airborne, I have a travelogue from getting to the site, to setting up, to in the air. Besides watching hot air balloons lift off in the morning or see the balloon glow at night, top named entertainers will delight everyone in the family. The entertainment takes place on two stages, the wine stage and the main stage.
2008 was no exception to great talent on the two stages and the 25th Balloon and Wine Festival took place on June 6th through June 8th. The headliner, music wise, on the main stage was Kenny Loggins. The grass field in front of the stage was filled with thousands of fans who roared their approval of Kenny and his band. Many other entertainers delighted the crowds, on both stages, as well.
Taking place at Lake Skinner, only a few minutes away from the vineyards of Temecula, this is quite a show of over 40 hot air balloons. Free lift offs while tethered are available for all to enjoy a taste of hot air flight. You can even get a full hot air balloon experience , free flight with the pilot, for a set price. Plenty of different types of food was available at the huge food court. I counted about 30 vendors selling everything from snow cones to sit down chicken dinners. Most of the Temecula Valley vineyards had wine tasting booths where for a set fee, you not only got the sample tastes but got to keep the etched souvenir glass.
If in the area of this part of California in early summer, which is about a 1 hour drive from San Diego on the I-15, try to make it to the Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival. It doesn't happen in too many cities and you don't get the opportunity to see so many balloons aloft in one place as here in Temecula Valley.
A tradition since 1983, the Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival welcomes guests from all over Southern California, The festival is held near Lake Skinner where you can also camp.
Over 50 colorful balloons launch from the grassy fields of Lake Skinner Regional Park Saturday and Sunday mornings. Enjoy a flight over Temecula's Wine Country during the vineyard's spring bloom. Or, take a sample "tethered" ride where you soar 100 feet above the Festival Crowd.
Dancing Balloons Glows
The crowd encircling the main launch field waits patiently for the starlit night sky. Anticipation heightens as night falls and the feeling of a colorful party intensifies. The Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival is the only ballooning event known to produce "dancing balloons" during evening balloon glows. Watch as the balloon pilots, with perfect synchronization, ignite their balloon burners to a musical beat of rock and pop tunes illuminating the pitch black sky with brilliant color.
Wine Garden and Gourmet Demonstrations
The International Wine and Cheese Garden at the Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival is one of the most popular attractions.
The festival features Temecula Valley's finest premium wines, including sparkling wines. Food demonstrators and samplings include gourmet cheese, hors d'ouevres, and specially prepared foods.