The hot air balloons will fly and the wine will flow this weekend in Temecula as the North County community hosts its Balloon & Wine Festival, a three-day event featuring food, activities, live music and, of course, colorful balloons.
The festival lifts off Friday at 3 p.m. at the Lake Skinner recreation area located at 37701 Warren Road. It runs through 10 p.m. that night and continues Saturday from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.
At the gate, and depending on the day you visit, general admission tickets cost between $17 and $24 for adults and $5 for kids ages 6 to 12. Children 5 and under get in free. Parking is $5, or $20 for a premiere spot.
The ticket price includes admission to all concerts for the day, too. A weekend combo ticket for all three days costs $50 and can be purchased only online. Wine and beer tickets and premiere and additional upgraded tickets are also available on the event website.
Balloon launches will take place throughout the days at different times, including sunrise, morning and evening. Beginning at 6:30 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, attendees can marvel at the sight of 40 to 50 hot air balloons floating over Temecula Valley wine country. The colorful giants will take off from the Wine Stage and Main Stage.
At around 7:30 a.m., attendees can line up for free tethered balloon rides. With the balloon still attached to the ground with ropes, the balloon will ascend between 50 and 75 feet, giving a great view of the festival with just enough height for beginners.
In the evenings, at around 8 p.m., another balloon launch will light up the skies for the “Balloon Glow.” With the sunset in the background, festivalgoers will be treated to the incredible sight of balloons sweeping the sky above. Attendees are encouraged to bring a chair and the family to this portion of the event.
Beside balloons, attendees will get to enjoy live music all weekend, including performances from country singer Justin Moore (headlining on Friday), 3 Door Down (headlining on Saturday) and Warrant (headlining on Sunday). On Sunday, a freestyle motocross demo will also take to the skies, although not nearly quite as high as those balloons.
Hence the name of the event and the wine country location, there will also be plenty of wine tasting at the festival. Tastings are scheduled from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, noon to 8 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Wine tasting is an additional charge, and six tastes can be purchased for $15 along with a souvenir glass. Beer tastings will also be held all three days.
Some of the wineries featured at the fest include Canyon Crest Winery, Lorimar Vineyards & Winery, Europa Village, Thornton Winery, Wiens Family Cellars and Wilson Creek Winery & Vineyard, among many more.
The outdoor fest will boast a number of vendors and a food court offering a variety of food options. There will also be plenty of activities for the kids, with a designated “Kids Faire” devoted to kids 14 and under. This special space will include rides, inflatables, a rock climbing wall, a petting zoo, face painting and other fun activities.
For more information, including a map of the Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival, visit the event website.