Every year, Reno, Nevada hosts the Great Reno Balloon Race, usually during the second weekend of September. If you haven’t been, it’s an an amazing day trip that you will never forget, set right out of Rancho San Rafael Regional Park. It’s magical, mystical and plain ole fun.
Seeing around 100 balloons blowing up and getting ready to take flight is a different type of magic that one can’t explain. It’s definitely a “you just have to be there” kind of magic. Visitors are free to roam the park to watch and wonder as balloon operators ready their aircrafts for lift off.
Our recommendation is to arrive to the park by 4:30am at the latest. We’ve heard through a reliable UNR student resource, that many of the “locals” park and “nap” there the night before, just to be sure they have a great spot. (This editor prefers to sleep in a comfy bed until the last possible second, instead of in a field. Call it a “no longer in college anymore” thing, or whatever you want, but I can guarantee I slept better. Then again, if I were still in college, I wouldn’t be so obsessed about a good night’s sleep, would I?)
Anyway, get there super early so that you may enjoy the experience of Dawn Patrol. It is worth the sleep deprivation, as there’s nothing like seeing these beautiful balloons lights up and glow in sychranicity to the music.
It’s simply spectacular!
Experiencing the wonder of watching these balloons float across the sky is zin-like fun for everyone. The brightly colored crafts captivate those who choose to stroll the park seeking out their favorites from years past, and admiring new balloons who have joined in.
Some just throw down a blanket, kick back and watch as their surroundings lift effortlessly into the sky and bobble around serenely.
This year marks the 35th anniversary of the Great Reno Balloon Race, for the weekend of Sept. 9-11. For more information, click HERE.