The 2023 Old West Balloon Fest
Old West Balloon Fest is Nebraska’s premier Hot Air Ballooning Event. We had over 80 colorful hot air balloons filling the sky in 2022 and we are celebrating our ninth year flying in Western Nebraska!
2023 Schedule of Events
|Opening Night Glow||Wednesday, August 9||6:00 pm-9:00 pm||Western Nebraska Community College|
|Media Flight||Thursday, August 10||TBA||TBA|
|Mass Ascension||Friday & Saturday, August 11 and 12||Gates 5:30 Launch 6:15 am||Mitchell Airfield|
|Craft Fair||Saturday, August 12||7:30 am-3:00 pm||Center Ave, Mitchell, NE|
|Cornhole Tournament||Saturday, August 12||10:00 am||In Front of Redz Bar|
|Weiner Dog Race||Saturday, August 12||11:00 am||Park at the South End of Center Ave|
|Closing Night Glow||Saturday, August 12||Gates at 5:00 pm (The “Glow” is at sunset)||Grasslands at Five Rocks|
Event passes for the 2023 Old West Balloon Fest cost $20 and are required for parking. Each pass is good for one carload.
Night Glow at WNCC
Kick off the festival at thge opening night Glow at Western Nebraska Community College in Scottsbluff, NE. Always a spectacular event!
The main event will feature over 30 balloons all taking off at once from the Mitchell Airfield. Breathtaking and colorful!
Night Glow, Five Rocks
Bid a fond farewell to the 2023 Festival at the finale – the Glow at Five Rocks Amphitheater in Gering Nebraska. A great way to end a great event!
Something For Everyone!
Old West weekend was celebrated in Scotts Bluff County during the 1980’s and 1990’s. Hot air balloonists would travel from nearby states to participate in the weekend festivities. Many people remember going to the event as a child and are now taking their children and grandchildren to Old West Balloon Fest. The location has changed but not the excitement of seeing beautiful balloons floating over Scotts Bluff County. The new location at Mitchell Airfield has given us the opportunity to host more hot air balloons and National Competition.
Old West Balloon Fest “Reinflated” was an idea that came about when Scotts Bluff tourism and a couple of ambitious ladies put together a plan to bring back the popular event. Our first year, 2015 was well attended with 18 hot air balloons flying the valley. In subsequent years, the festival only grew, not only in number of hot air balloons, but people flocking to watch the spectacle. In 2018 the festival bid to host US National Hot Air ballooning championships. We were awarded the championships for three years.
The first US Nationals competition in 2019 was a showstopper! 50 Pilots from 25 different states participated in the championship competition, and 30 Old West Balloon Fest pilots joined them in the last weekend of the event. We could not hold the championships in 2020 due to Covid19, but we still put on a show with 30 hot air balloons. The National Balloon Competition wrapped up in 2022 with 45 competition balloons and 20 Old West Balloon Fest Balloons.