Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a list of common questions we have received.  We have tried to separate them into areas of interest, such as ticketing, balloon rides, and general. Please, review this list before sending our team a contact form or email. 

Ticketing

Is there an admission fee?

No. The parking fee covers parking and admission to the event.  Vendors may have an additional charge.

How much are tickets?

Parking is $20 per car beforehand.  Day of parking, if available, will be $30 per car.

Balloon rides are available, as well.  Tethered rides are $20 per person and un-tethered are $250 per person.

Wine garden access is available for $10 per person.

There is a VIP option, the Elevated Experience, that is available for $100 per person.

In depth descriptions and ticket purchasing options can be found on our Tickets page.

Do I need to bring my ticket to the event?

YES! Bring your Eventbrite receipt/ticket to the event, so we can validate your purchase.  We will be scanning tickets upon entry into the event.  Mobile tickets will also be accepted.  Learn more about important ticket information on our Tickets page.

Are my parking passes refundable?

Lakeside of the Smokies Balloon Fest is an outdoor venue. All events are rain or shine. There is a non-refundable fee for parking, the Nine Lakes Wine Garden and the Elevated Experience.

There will be no ticket purchase refunds after October 10th other than weather related cancellation of Hot Air Balloon rides that can’t be rescheduled.

How do I purchase un-tethered balloon ride tickets?

You can purchase tickets for balloon rides on our Tickets page.  Un-tethered balloon ride tickets will only be sold in advance.  All flights are weather dependent, and a ride cooridnator will schedule the dates, times and balloons.

How do I purchase tethered balloon ride tickets?

You can purchase tickets for balloon rides on our Tickets page.  Tethered balloon ride tickets will be sold in advance, and if any are still available they will be sold the day of.  All flights are weather dependent and will be in the late afternoon.  Ride participants will need to be in the que line starting at 3PM the day of their ride.

If my un-tethered is cancelled will my ticket be refunded?

For the safety of the pilots and the passengers, Hot Air Balloon Flights are absolutely dependent on weather conditions.  If you purchase an un-tethered ride ticket, we will have a flight coordinator work with you personally to coordinate your flight with the pilot/balloon.

Flights will be scheduled Saturday and Sunday early morning and 3 hours before dusk, both days.  Should weather be an issue, we will try and move flights around and reschedule on Monday.  We will do our very best to get you a Hot Air Balloon flight.  However, if all efforts fail because the weather doesn’t cooperate, we will reimburse your ticket price for the un-tethered ride.

All ticketed events are limited and may sell out, so please purchase early. All Hot Air Balloon flights, tethered and untethered, are only sold in advance through Eventbrite.

We understand that circumstances may arise beyond your control and we will consider that in any request for refund of ticket purchases. There will be no ticket purchase refunds after October 10th other than weather related cancellation of Hot Air Balloon rides that can’t be rescheduled.

Directions

What is the address of Chilton Farm?

715 TN-113, White Pine, TN 37890 – You can also type “Lakeside of the Smokies Balloon Fest” into Google Maps! 

Traveling East from Knoxville/Nashville:

Traveling East from Knoxville on Interstate 40; follow I-40 to exit 424 Dandridge/White Pine. Take exit 424 for TN-113 toward Dandridge/White Pine.  Turn left onto TN-113 N. Drive 2.2 Miles to Lakeside Of The Smokies Balloon Fest. 715 TN-113, White Pine, TN 37890. Travel time 36 minutes.

Traveling West from Asheville/North Carolina:

Traveling West from Asheville on Interstate 40; follow I-40 to exit 424 Dandridge/White Pine. Take exit 424 for TN-113 toward Dandridge/White Pine.  Turn left onto TN-113 N. Drive 2.2 Miles to Lakeside Of The Smokies Balloon Fest. 715 TN-113, White Pine, TN 37890. Travel time 1 hour 20 minutes. 

Traveling South from Bristol/Virginia:

Traveling South from Bristol on Interstate 81; follow I-81 S to TN-113 S/TN-32 S in Hamblen County. Take exit 8 for U.S. 25E S Newport.  Turn left onto TN-113 S/TN-32 S. Drive 2.0 mi to TN-113 S in Jefferson County. Turn right onto TN-113 S/Main St. Continue to follow TN-113 S for 3.9 mi to Lakeside Of The Smokies Balloon Fest.  715 TN-113, White Pine, TN 37890. Travel time 1 hour and 14 minutes.

Parking

How much is parking?

Parking is $20 per car beforehand.  Day of parking, if available, will be $30 per car.

 

In depth descriptions and ticket purchasing options can be found on our Tickets page.

Is the parking fee for oversized vans and buses more?

Parking passes for oversized vehicles (10 passenger and up) are $40.00.

 

The policy for the festival is that one parking pass, will in general, cover admission for a family of five.  RVs and other vehicles with 10 or more passengers will need to purchase a $40.00 parking pass to park.  Designated parking for these oversize vehicles will be provided in a separate lot from general admission parking to allow for space to maneuver and unload/load passengers. 

 

In depth descriptions and ticket purchasing options can be found on our Tickets page.

What time will parking be available?

Parking will open up each day at 1:30 PM.

If I buy a parking pass will I have a parking spot?

YES! You are guaranteed a spot if you pre-pay for parking.

How far is parking from the Balloon Festival itself?

The distance to the event depends on attendance and how many cars are parked.  Parking and events are all located on the 118-acre Chilton Farm.

Is there handicap parking available?

Unfortunately, no.  All parking is in a grassy field.  Parking has been reserved closer to the even for those who need easier access.

Will there be motorcycle parking?

Yes.  There will be a dedicated gravel lot for motorcycle parking.

Are my parking passes refundable?

No.  This event is rain or shine.

RV Sites & Parking

How much is parking?

Parking for RV’s is $40 per day.

 

How big are your RV spaces?

Our spaces are 20 feet in width and 50 feet in depth. We ask that if you are towing a vehicle behind, please disconnect it prior to arrival at the reservation booth.

When is Check-in and Check-out?

Check in time is prior to 12 noon and check-out the next morning is prior to 10am.

Can I get water on site?

Access to water is available by request.

Is there a dump station?

No.  There is no dumping of grey or black water.

Are generators allowed?

Yes, generators are allowed if they are not “Construction external generators.” We do ask that you abide by our quiet hours of 10pm to 5am, and that they be 2 feet off of the ground.

Are there showers on site?

No; we do not have a shower station or a place to shower.

Are there portable toilets on site?

Yes, there are portable toilets throughout for guests use. We do ask that you do not throw any trash in the portable toilets, please.

Can I have a campfire/bonfire during our stay?

NO Campfires/bonfires/propane fires are allowed. If you are caught having a campfire/bonfire you will be asked to leave.

Are pets allowed at the RV Park?

Yes, pets are allowed;  please make sure that your pets are on a leash and more importantly, pick up after your pet.

Can I take my own golf cart/ATV or one I have rented to the launch field?

No, Golf Carts/ATV are not allowed to be taken down to the field. Any RV guest found on the Launch Field with their own Golf Cart/ATV will cause you to be removed from the premises. This is an insurance and safety issue. We offer a shuttle service for you to and from the field.

Can I ride my bike to the field and on the field?

Bikes are not allowed on the Balloon Launch field at any time.

Do I have to purchase admission tickets?

No, there is no general admission ticket. 

 

Balloon Rides

How much is a ticket for a balloon ride?

We have two options for those wanting to ride in a hot air balloon.  There is the tethered option, which goes about 30 ft up, for $20 per person, and the un-tethered option for $250 per person.

 

In depth descriptions and ticket purchasing options can be found on our Tickets page.

Is there an age limit for the balloon rides?

Yes.  The minimum age for children is 8 years old for both tethered and un-tethered balloon rides.

What is an un-tethered balloon ride?

An un-tethered balloon ride, or a free-flight balloon ride, means that the balloon will leave the ground and fly around the area.  Most balloonists enjoy low level flight, and the typical balloon flight would be anywhere from tree level to about 3,ooo feet above ground.  The un-tethered balloon ride is about an hour long and must be purchased in advance.  After purchasing a ride ticket, you will be contacted by a ride coordinator to schedule your balloon ride.

How do I purchase un-tethered balloon ride tickets?

You can purchase tickets for balloon rides on our Tickets page.  Un-tethered balloon ride tickets will only be sold in advance.  All flights are weather dependent, and a ride cooridnator will schedule the dates, times and balloons.

What does a tethered balloon ride mean?

A tethered balloon ride means the balloon will stay anchored to the ground via a heavy rope during the duration of flight.  Tethered rides last about 5-7 minutes and reach about 30 ft up in the air.

How do I purchase tethered balloon ride tickets?

You can purchase tickets for balloon rides on our Tickets page.  Tethered balloon ride tickets will be sold in advance, and if any are still available they will be sold the day of.  All flights are weather dependent and will be in the late afternoon.  Ride participants will need to be in the que line starting at 3PM the day of their ride.

Will I get to choose the pilot/balloon I ride in?

The pilot/balloon selection will be on a first come first serve basis.  A flight coordinator will schedule rides based upon the purchase order of tickets.  Balloons can typically carry 1-5 passengers. Special arrangements can be made for you to experience the tranquility and romance of a hot air balloon ride over the beautiful countryside with friends, spouses or significant others.

What do you mean by weather dependent?

Since balloons move with the air, the weather is very important in deciding to whether or not to fly.  The safety of our pilots, passengers and the crowd are always first priority.  All balloon event times are approximate (including tethered rides) and are subject to delay and/or cancellation due to weather conditions. Note…. it may seem nice on the ground, but the pilots also have to monitor upper wind flows and conditions. Be assured, if they are delayed or cancelled, there is a good reason. We will be just as disappointed as you if that happens.

Why do flights only take place in the morning or late afternoon?

Balloons need stable winds to operate effectively and the hours just following sunrise and approximately 3 hours before sunset are the best for finding these winds. Since balloons move with the air, the weather is very important in deciding to whether or not to fly.  The safety of our pilots, passengers and the crowd are always first priority.  All balloon event times are approximate (including tethered rides) and are subject to delay and/or cancellation due to weather conditions. Note…. it may seem nice on the ground, but the pilots also have to monitor upper wind flows and conditions. Be assured, if they are delayed or cancelled, there is a good reason. We will be just as disappointed as you if that happens.

If my un-tethered is cancelled will my ticket be refunded?

For the safety of the pilots and the passengers, Hot Air Balloon Flights are absolutely dependent on weather conditions.  If you purchase an un-tethered ride ticket, we will have a flight coordinator work with you personally to coordinate your flight with the pilot/balloon. 

Flights will be scheduled Saturday and Sunday early morning and 3 hours before dusk, both days.  Should weather be an issue, we will try and move flights around and reschedule on Monday.  We will do our very best to get you a Hot Air Balloon flight.  However, if all efforts fail because the weather doesn’t cooperate, we will reimburse your ticket price for the un-tethered ride.

All ticketed events are limited and may sell out, so please purchase early. All Hot Air Balloon flights, tethered and untethered, are only sold in advance through Eventbrite.

We understand that circumstances may arise beyond your control and we will consider that in any request for refund of ticket purchases. There will be no ticket purchase refunds after October 10th other than weather related cancellation of Hot Air Balloon rides that can’t be rescheduled.

Should I take any types of precaution around the balloons?

Yes! Be aware of your surroundings and stay away from ropes. As a balloon inflates or glows, ropes will be held by their crew to guide the balloon. If wind hits the balloon, the rope could jerk or pull in any direction causing a trip or safety hazard. Don’t walk over or under any ropes!

Stay out of the way of balloon vehicles. The balloonists and crew drive into the park to inflate and then to chase the balloon after it takes off. They are watching out for you, but please watch out for them.

General Event

Is there an admission fee?

No. The parking fee covers parking and admission to the event.  Vendors may have an additional charge.

How much are tickets?

Parking is $20 per car beforehand.  Day of parking, if available, will be $30 per car.

Balloon rides are available, as well.  Tethered rides are $20 per person and un-tethered are $250 per person.

Wine garden access is available for $10 per person.

There is a VIP option, the Elevated Experience, that is available for $100 per person.

In depth descriptions and ticket purchasing options can be found on our Tickets page.

Do I need to bring my ticket to the event?

YES! Bring your Eventbrite receipt/ticket to the event, so we can validate your purchase.  We will be scanning tickets upon entry into the event.  Mobile tickets will also be accepted.  Learn more about important ticket information on our Tickets page.

What is a Hot Air Balloon Glow?

Balloons inflate and light themselves from within. The sight of hot air balloons lit up like giant light bulbs is breathtaking. Pilots will coordinate ‘all burns’ where they fire up their burners illuminating their balloons all at once and also perform music themed glows which are very crowd participatory events. The balloons will glow on Saturday and Sunday evenings just after dusk.

I'm from out of town. Where should I stay?

Jefferson County is home to a variety of hotels, cabins, and bed and breakfasts.  To learn more about the area accomodations, head over to the Visit Jefferson County, TN website.

May I bring food, drinks, and/or a cooler?

NO. We have many food and beverage vendors scheduled at the festival, so plan to visit them.  We will provide a full list as we have it.  There will be multiple ATMs on site in case anyone you choose to visit is cash only.

Are there ID or minimum age requirements to enter the event?

All ages are welcome!  Children must be supervised. 

You must be 21 or older with a valid ID to taste and purchase the wines available in the Nine Lakes Wine Garden.

What is the best time to arrive at the festival?

Come early and stay for the fun, the launches, glows, fabulous entertainment, and activities. Gates open at 1pm on Saturday and Sunday. Come early and stay for the fun, that way you can make sure of getting a good parking place and avoid the crowds.

Will there be seating available?

Bring your own chairs and blankets for sitting.  We will have plenty of space to view the balloon launches and glows, and be sure to wear comfortable shoes for walking on our uneven grass field.

What should I wear?

Ultimately, that’s up to you!  However, we do suggest wearing comfortable shoes that will allow you to walk easily throughout the festival.  Chilton Farm, where the event is being held, is grassy and uneven in some areas.

Are dogs allowed?

Yes, all pets must be leashed, and poop bags are required. Please be aware that the noise from the balloons may be scary to our four-legged friends.

Where will the entertainment be?

Front and center from every vantage point!  Live music, balloons, and more!

What happens if it rains out?

Keep your fingers crossed for good weather. This is a not-for-profit event and the money from the ticket sales benefit local organizations and to cover festival expenses. We have scheduled many other activities and attractions in the event we have to cancel ballooning events. Therefore, all ticket sales are final, i.e. no refunds. The only exception would be total cancellation of the event. For updates in case of inclement weather check this website frequently.

Where is the best place to view the balloons?

Chilton Farms offers the perfect location to view the balloon launches, tethered rides and balloon glow.  Ample seating is available opposite the bowl and up-sloped area where the balloons will launch and be positioned for the glow.

Will the concessions and vendor stands be far from the balloon area?

No, all activities will be close to each other.

Is this a smoking-friendly event?

There will be a designated area for smoking at the event, and there will be absolutely no smoking in the balloon area. Discarded lit cigarettes or embers from ashes could melt or damage the balloon’s fabric.

The event is still happening after night fall. Anything I should be aware of at night?

Be aware of your surroundings and bring a flashlight. Lakeside of the Smokies Balloon Fest is being held on the 118 acre Chilton Farm. There may be uneven ground and trip hazards and there aren’t many lights after dark. As you watch the balloons, please pay attention to where you walk.