Parking will be a challenge at Freedom Balloon Fest

Posted May 25, 2018 4:05 p.m. EDT
Updated July 13, 2018 11:15 a.m. EDT

— The Freedom Ballon Fest returns this weekend to Fuquay-Varina, and fans expecting to attend the annual event should plan ahead for parking.

The balloon fest runs through Monday at noon, with festival grounds opening Saturday and Sunday at 6 a.m and closing both days at 10:30 p.m. Admission is free.

The event is held at Fleming Loop Park but there is no parking at the event location, meaning attendees are required to park at the public and private lots are are within walking distance.

Organizers say people should compare it to the State Fair, where the closest parking could be a half-mile from the main entrance.

Attendees should also expect heavy traffic between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. each day of the festival and again from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m.

To see see balloons in flight, spectators should be prepared to come early or stay late.

It's not a given that the event will occur without a hitch. That's because the balloons require certain weather conditions to fly, including a morning window that begins around 6 a.m. and an evening window that begins around 6 p.m.

After dark, a hot air balloon glow is held.

Between the balloon flights, other diversions abound, including live music, food, crafts and displays.