Rising Above


The Great Smoky Mountains Hot Air Balloon Festival is back

The colors are vibrant. One by one they rise and fall as the sun sets behind the mountains. It’s a vision that elicits feelings of freedom and adventure, feelings that will be welcomed in excess this summer as the Great Smoky Mountains Hot Air Balloon Festival returns to Townsend.

The festival, put on by the Townsend/Cades Cove Gateway Alliance (TCGA), will include 12 balloons brought from owners from across the country. Nearly 10,000 people will attend and sign up to take tethered rides on the balloons while enjoying local food truck fare, artisan goods, children’s entertainment, and live music. Proceeds from the event will benefit the TCGA and its work to promote tourism in the area.

For more information, visit www.gsmballoonfest.com.

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