It’s not every day that you see hot air balloons flying through the Washington skies, at least not during the last few years. That’s all about to change because the 26th annual Winthrop Hot Air Balloon Festival is taking place once again this March. Here’s what to expect!

The 3-day festival takes place this year from March 3rd to 5th and is pretty much a photographer’s dream. Watch as an incredible visual display of balloons flies over the old western town of Winthrop with the snow-capped backdrop of the North Cascades.

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Each day of the festival, balloons will begin inflating at 7 AM, so it’s best to arrive around 6:45 AM. You’ll want to head behind the Winthrop Inn which is located on Hwy 20 at the south end of Winthrop, 960 Highway 20. Once inflated the balloons generally stay up in the air until about 9 AM.

Best of all, it’s free to watch and you are welcome to head to the launch site to see what the excitement is all about. Since the launch times are so early it might just be worth your time to stay in Winthrop and see what the unique town has to offer. Enjoy!

Winthrop Hot Air Balloon Festival

When: March 3rd-5th, 2023
Where: Winthrop, Washington
Cost: Free