Hot Air Balloon & Wine Festival
Hot air balloons will hover over Elings Park in Santa Barbara on Saturday for the first-ever Hot Air Balloon & Wine Festival. (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)

Santa Barbara’s Elings Park will be transformed on Saturday evening for the first-ever Hot Air Balloon & Wine Festival.

More than 25 wineries from local and regional shops are expected. Beer lovers can enjoy craft brewery offerings from the likes of Rincon Brewery and Draughtsmen Aleworks, plus Common Cider.

Four tethered hot air balloons will be featured at the event. The illuminated passenger balloons will hover about 75 feet above the park.

“It’s pretty accurately dreamlike,” Dan Glick of Sunrise Balloons said of the hovering experience. “It alters the perspective because you aren’t confined with windows and there is no noise when the burner is off, so it’s floating.”

Glick will be providing the balloons. He is the co-founder of a balloon and wine festival in Temecula. He said he has been flying balloons since the early 1970s.

“It’s a little special because you can’t do it all the time,” he said of riding inside a hot air balloon. “It’s not like a train or a bus. It has to have the right weather conditions. The weather conditions enhance it.”

While the festival is for those age 21 or older, families can take balloon rides between 6 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. Saturday at Elings Park, weather permitting. Ticket prices are $10.

Children are encouraged to bring teddy bears for the flight. Those who brave the ascent will receive an official flight certificate, plus styrofoam gliders to toss from a basket in the air. 

Hot Air Balloon & Wine Festival

Hot air balloons will hover over Elings Park in Santa Barbara on Saturday for the first-ever Hot Air Balloon & Wine Festival. (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)

The Hot Air Balloon & Wine Festival will run from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday at Elings Park, 1298 Las Positas Road in Santa Barbara. Entrance fees for the festival are $75, with balloon rides $10. Empanadas, burgers and more will be available for purchase. Parking will be free, but organizers encourage guests to use alternative transportation modes.

An estimated 400 to 500 people are expected to attend the festival, according to Dean Noble, executive director of Elings Park.

For more information about the festival, visit ElingsPark.org or NightOut.com.

All event proceeds will benefit Elings Park, according to Noble. The park is a nonprofit organization managed by a private nonprofit organization and supported by community donations. It receives no regular government funding. 

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland can be reached at bholland@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Hot Air Balloon & Wine Festival

Hot air balloons will hover over Elings Park in Santa Barbara on Saturday for the first-ever Hot Air Balloon & Wine Festival. (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)