The Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival

by Tonya Staab

Insider tips and advice for attending the annual Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival.

I moved to Temecula last summer and although I’d heard about the Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival I had never been.

I often feel overwhelmed going to festivals, it’s one of those many things I’ve always felt I’ve been missing out on. The thought of traffic, parking, and crowds you’ll find me putting on pajamas and curling up in front of a good movie.

That wouldn’t be living life to the fullest, which is something I’m trying to do as I get older. I don’t want to live with regrets, what if’s, and wishing I’d just done something outside my comfort zone.

So when I was invited by Visit Temecula Valley to attend the Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival as part of a local blogger/media group I couldn’t possibly say no.

a world globe hot air balloon at night

Warning! This post is going to be photo heavy. We were there with media passes so had access inside the roped off area to take photographs and speak to the staff setting up the balloons.

Note: We attended the festival on Friday evening.

What you’ll find at the Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival

  • Dawn Hot Air Balloon Launches
  • Tethered Balloon Rides
  • Kids Faire
  • Glow With The Crowd – weather permitting (see my photos below)
  • Concerts
  • Food Vendors
  • Wine and Beer Tastings
  • Chef Demonstrations and Food Pairings

We arrived in time to watch the Skinny Little Twits performing on stage. We danced, sampled wine, chatted to Bill Wilson of Wilson Creek Winery, and met a few other festivalgoers.

As the sun began to set we climbed inside the roped-off area and watched in awe as the giant balloons came to life for the Balloon Glow.

hot air balloons on the ground waiting to be inflated

hot air balloon being prepared for inflating

a hot air balloon being inflated

silhouettes of men in various hats with the sunset in the background

a hot air balloon on the ground being inflated

hot air balloon inflated at sunset

a man in a basket with a hot air balloon being inflated

people inside a hot air balloon basket after dark

how a hot air balloon is inflated

inflating of a hot air balloon after dark

hot air balloons being inflated at a festival

hot air balloon festival after dark

hair air balloons inflated on the ground and lit up after dark

wilson creek winery hot air balloon

Tips for attending the Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival.

  • Dogs are not permitted.
  • Take a picnic blanket and low folding chairs. Set up (if you can) by the roped-off area where the Balloon Glow will take place – on the side near the stage so you can view the bands and balloons.
  • There are ATM’s.
  • Wear layers – it can be cool in the morning and evening in Temecula, but it will most likely be hot during the day.
  • There are no balloon flights in the evening for safety, so balloons inflated for the Balloon Glow will be tethered to the ground.
  • Purchase tickets in advance if you are wanting to go on a morning hot air balloon ride.
  • Traffic and parking may try your patience so carpool or hire a car service/shuttle to take you to and from the festival.
  • Wear comfy shoes – you will be walking on dirt and grass a lot.
  • There are portable bathrooms.
  • When you purchase tickets for tastings you will be given a souvenir glass, don’t lose it.
  • You cannot take outside food and drinks to the event.
  • Don’t forget sunscreen during the day, it can get pretty hot here in Temecula – there aren’t a lot of shaded areas.

Let’s end this post with the shenanigans of having a group of women together at a festival.

temecula valley balloon and wine festival collage

Skinny Little Twits performing on stage | Sugar Jones of Live the Sweet Life, Natalie of Mommy of a Monster and Twins, Mary of Let’s Play OC, Cheryl of Sway Group, Anne-Marie of This Mama Cooks | Bill Wilson of Wilson Creek Winery

So, if you missed the Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival this year, I hope I’ve given you plenty of tips before you attend next year. It’s going to be great!

I would love to go back and do a balloon ride next year in the early morning.

Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival

  • Where: Lake Skinner Recreation Area
  • Website: tvbwf.com

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