Celebrate the Annual Helen to the Atlantic Balloon Race & Festival

The Helen to the Atlantic Balloon Race & Festival is an annual event that takes place in the Alpine Village of Helen, Georgia. It’s a three-day event that celebrates hot air ballooning and brings thousands of visitors to the small town each year. This year marks the 50th anniversary of this beloved festival, which has been held annually since 1973.

For a complete list of the area’s best activities and attractions, consult our complimentary North Georgia Vacation Guide. Get yours today to gain access to our local recommendations! 

Get the Guide

Everything to Know about the Helen to the Atlantic Balloon Race & Festival

Helen is a small mountain town located in North Georgia known for its Bavarian-style architecture and stunning views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The alpine village makes for the perfect backdrop for a fun annual tradition going on for the last 50 years. Each year, during the first weekend in June, hundreds of hot air balloons take off from Helen and make their way across the country as part of America’s only long-distance hot air balloon race.

What is a Hot Air Balloon Race?

In a long-distance hot air balloon race, professional ballooners manage the height of their air balloon to catch the best wind gust and push them towards a pre-defined goal. Balloons will have to refuel several times during the race with a ground crew, and the race can only start in the right weather conditions. The race begins in Helen and ends somewhere along I-95 between Maine and Miami. The balloons usually take two days to complete their journey, depending on weather conditions, but some have completed it in as little as a day. During this time, pilots compete for prizes such as fastest time or furthest distance traveled.

What Else is there to Do at the Festival?

In addition to the main race, there are also several other activities that attendees can participate in throughout the weekend. There are tethered rides available for those who want to experience what it’s like to be inside a hot air balloon without actually taking flight and give you an unbeatable view of the North Georgia Blue Ridge Mountains.

What Safety Regulations are there?

Of course no festival would be complete without safety precautions – especially when dealing with hot air balloons! All pilots must have valid licenses and follow strict safety protocols before they are allowed to take off from Helen. There are also teams on hand throughout the weekend providing support should any issues arise during flight or landing.

Where to Stay for the Helen to the Atlantic Balloon Race & Festival Celebrate the Annual Helen to the Atlantic Balloon Race & Festival 1

The 50th Annual Helen to the Atlantic Balloon Race & Festival promises to be an amazing event full of fun activities for all ages! Whether you’re looking for a thrilling ride or just want to watch these colorful balloons soar through the sky – it’s sure to be an unforgettable experience! If you are looking for the perfect place to stay during the festival, return to comfort and serenity at Glen-Ella Springs Inn!

Our stunning bed and breakfast in Clarkesville is ideal for a¬†romantic getaway¬†or for small groups of families or friends.¬†Our rustic-chic accommodations¬†include¬†Queen Rooms,¬†King Rooms,¬†Three-Room Suites, and¬†Penthouse Suites. No matter which room you choose, you‚Äôll enjoy premium amenities like¬†complimentary breakfast¬†in¬†our award-winning restaurant, an outdoor swimming pool, and thoughtful¬†add-ons for your room. You‚Äôll love exploring Helen, Georgia’s skies by day and getting a great night‚Äôs rest at the inn by night!