hot air balloons taking flight at the michigan challenge balloonfest
Michigan Challenge Balloonfest

The Michigan Challenge Balloonfest is an exhilarating that happens in Howell every year. This popular event captivates locals and visitors with the colorful array of hot air balloons painting the sky tied together with a lively atmosphere. This festival annually celebrates the unique allure of hot air ballooning against the beautiful background of Downtown Howell.

Over the last weekend in June, eventgoers can experience many family-friendly activities. The festival starts with the launch of dozens of vibrant hot air balloons that turn the sky into a display of colors.

Whether you’re an avid hot air balloon enthusiast or simply looking for a weekend of family-friendly fun, the Annual Michigan Challenge Balloonfest in Howell, Michigan, promises an unforgettable experience filled with wonder, excitement, and community spirit. Here is all the fun waiting to be had at this beloved event.

2024 DATES:

JUNE 28TH: 2:00 PM – 11:00 PM
JUNE 29TH: 10:00 AM – 11:00 PM
JUNE 3OTH: 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM

carnival at the Michigan challenge balloon fest in Howell, Michigan


Daily – $5.00 per person | Cash Only at Admissions Gates

Weekend Wristband – $10.00 per person | Only sold at event on Friday, June 28th

Kids 3 and under | Free


When the sun sets on the first day of the Michigan Challenge Balloonfest, witness the spectacular fireworks display. Grab a blanket and lay it on the grass to sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.


A full carnival is on-site for the festival, complete with over 20 rides! Carnival admission is included in your Michigan Challenge Balloonfest ticket price, with Daily Ride Armbands and individual ride tickets available for an additional cost. Once you’ve experienced the thrill of the rides, play the games that line the carnival area.

Family Fun Tent:

Head to the Family Fun Tent when the kids need a break from the sunshine. Here, you’ll find a variety of activities and shows to be experienced. For the full list of who will be at the tent to entertain the whole family, visit the Entertainment Calendar.

Food & Drinks:

Enjoy a range of local food trucks and restaurants to curb your hunger! Located right next to the carnival

Saturday Night Balloon Glow:

One of the highlights of this beloved event is the captivating hot air balloon glow. On Saturday night, experience an array of balloons illuminating the dark sky by inflating the launch field to glow. The Balloon Glow wraps up the exciting second day.

What To Bring:

  • Jacket
  • Sunscreen
  • Lawn/Beach chairs or Blankets to sit
  • Comfortable Walking Shoes
  • Sunglasses
  • Bug Spray

Other Important Information:

  • Michigan Challenge Balloonfest asks that you leave all pets and sparklers at home for the safety of all eventgoers
  • Alcoholic Beverages, Grilling, and Smoking are strictly prohibited on school grounds
  • Balloon rides are not available during the event as the pilots are competing
  • Drones are not permitted under any circumstance
  • For onsite information and to meet the pilots, visit the Information Booth located directly next to the launch field

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