Lake and Sumter Style Magazine
10:50 pm EDT
Tue, July 14, 2020

Hot air balloon festival comes to Leesburg

Ski Beach at Venetian Gardens will be the place to be 5-9pm Nov. 8-10 for the first hot air balloon festival, “Balloons on the Lakefront,” hosted by the Leesburg Partnership.

“I love that this event is unique. We’ve never had a balloon festival in Leesburg, so I’m excited about this,” says Joanie Smalley of the Leesburg Partnership. “I think it’s going to be a magical event.”

Eight to 10 hot air balloons are expected at the festival.”Two of the balloons will be tethered rides at $20 per person,” Joanie says, adding it’s all weather-permitting for the balloons to be able to fly in the evening sky.

The Leesburg Partnership has this polite reminder listed on its website about the festival: “All balloon activity is subject to suitable weather conditions. Gates open at 5pm each day and our balloon teams will try to inflate balloons as close to 5pm as possible. Our balloon director will make a weather decision at a pilot briefing at 5pm each day and determine what time the balloons will inflate. No other activities will be affected by the weather as this event is rain or shine. Also tethered rides will only be sold at the event.”

Joanne touts the entertainment and family-friendly activities for people to enjoy.

Friday night’s entertainers will be Skid Row, followed by Nameless Faces on Saturday night, and Hypersona performing 0n Sunday night. Each group is sponsored by Jenkins Auto Group; they will entertain on the Jenkins Auto Group Stage.

A free Kid’s Play Zone, sponsored by Florida Cancer Specialists, with inflatables, face painting and a balloon artist will also be featured. Gourmet food vendors will also be on site. 

The city of Leesburg noted on a press release that Ski Beach, including the boat ramps, will be closed to the public from Nov. 8-10 due to festival activities. Boaters can use the Venetian Gardens or Singletary Park ramps as alternatives for access to Lake Harris. The Ski Beach area will reopen on Nov. 11.

Free parking for visitors attending the festival will be available at Pat Thomas Stadium, the ball field at the corner of Canal and Dixie streets and at the lot by the shuffleboard courts on 2nd Street as well as the LRMC Medical Plaza on the south side of Dixie, according to the press release. Space is also available throughout downtown Leesburg including the parking garage at Main and Palmetto streets. Limited reserved pre-paid parking is also being offered through the Leesburg Partnership. 

Admission to the festival is $5 per person, $1 for children ages 2-9. Tethered balloon rides will be offered for $20 per person.

For more information and advance tickets, visit