Festival boasts massive inflatable park

St. Jean sur Richelieu International Balloon Festival takes place August 8-16, 2015 and has numerous activities for kids



The 32nd edition of St. Jean sur Richelieu’s International Balloon Festival will feature 125 hot air balloons from countries across the globe, numerous outdoor shows, and a slew of interactive activities that cater to the whole family. The festival runs from August 8-16 and is the largest gathering of hot air balloons in Canada, with an international representation that includes the United States, France, Brazil and Australia.

Not to be missed is The Night Glows, a unique spectacle in which hot air balloons are inflated after sun down then lit up like giant Chinese lanterns. You can witness the show on Aug. 9, 10, 11 and 13, time to be determined.

Kids will no doubt congregate at Planète Ballon, a giant inflatable park that will be set up on the festival’s sprawling grounds. With inflatables stretching as far as the eye can see, children can jump, slide, and bounce to their hearts’ content, all under the watchful eye of hired supervision. To top things off, there will be a giant sandbox where kids can build sand castles, an arena where they can slip into giant bubble suits and battle one another, and for the brave souls, a haunted stroll down a giant inflatable monster’s mouth.

If that doesn’t quite satisfy them, there’s always the carnival – at extra cost – which includes classic rides, such as The Zipper, carousel and Ferris wheel. 

If you’re feeling particularly adventurous and want to take a spin in one of the hot air balloons, you can do so as long as you reserve two days in advance. Morning flights are at 6 a.m. and costs $180 per person, while evening lift off is at 6 p.m. and costs $220 per person.

For shoppers, there will be a walkway with local artisans selling their products and an assortment of food stands.

In terms of music, the festival has attracted big names in entertainment for decades now and this year is no different. Headliners include pop sensation Meghan Trainor and Canadian artist Shawn Mendes. 

Ticket prices include admission to shows, activities and the evening balloon flight, but not parking and the carnival rides. A one-day adult pass for the festival costs $25 Sunday through Friday and $30 on Saturday, and $10 for those 4 to 15. It is free for kids under 4.

For more information, visit ballooncanada.com

Check out the video below to see all the fun that was had at last year's festival

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