Great Falls Balloon Festival
Simard-Payne Memorial Park
30 Oxford Street
Lewiston, ME United States 04240
3rd weekend in August
Number of balloons: 25
Year began: 1992
From Simard-Payne Memorial Park in Lewiston, visitors can enjoy the sight of dozens of hot air balloons as they take to the skies over the Androscoggin River and the rocky Great Falls. This year, Pegleg Pete and Sunny Boy are the special shapes headlining a weekend of hot air balloons, food, entertainment and fun for all ages.
Admission to the festival is free, though some activities may require a fee. Balloon launches are scheduled for 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., Fridayâ€“Sunday, weather permitting. It doesnâ€™t have to just be a spectator sport eitherâ€”arrange in advance to take a flight yourself. Visit the festival website to learn more and to book a ride.
When the balloons arenâ€™t floating overhead, there is still plenty to do to keep busy throughout the weekend: dozens of food booths serve everything from fried dough to taco saladsâ€”including pancake breakfasts following the morning launchesâ€”all run by volunteers from local nonprofit groups. Along the walkway, which follows the river and winds along the edge of the festival grounds, craft and trade booths invite browsing and a childrenâ€™s area entertains kids of all ages with a bounce house, miniature horse rides, games and face painting. Enjoy live entertainment throughout the weekendâ€”from childrenâ€™s shows and blues singers to jazz, rock and oldies. Carnival rides, the festival parade, and various demonstrations and contests round out the weekendâ€™s events. And donâ€™t miss Family Fun Day on Sunday with free face painting, balloon twisting and more!
Since 1992, the mission of the Great Falls Balloon Festival has been to provide fundraising opportunities for local nonprofit groups while celebrating the twin cities community and promoting the Lewiston/Auburn area as a visitor destination.
The cooperative efforts of the cities of Lewiston and Auburn, an army of volunteers and the generosity of valued local businesses have grown the festival into a truly memorable event. The sight of hot air balloons in the skies over Lewiston/Auburn is a spectacular experience. With free admission, annual attendance estimated at over 100,000, financial impact in excess of $2,000,000 and tens of thousands of dollars raised by participating nonprofits, it is easy to see why the community eagerly anticipates the third weekend of August.
The main launch site for the festival is Simard-Payne Memorial Park (formerly Railroad Park), off Oxford Street in Lewiston.
From Points North
Take the Maine Turnpike (I-95) to Exit 80, Lewiston. At the light, turn left and follow ME-196 W/Lisbon Street downtown (about 2.5 mi.). At the intersection of Lisbon Street and Main, turn left. At the next light, turn left onto Lincoln Street. Simard-Payne Memorial Park is located off Oxford Street, one block over from Lincoln.
From Points South
Take the Maine Turnpike (I-95) to Exit 75, Auburn. At the light, turn left and follow US-202/ME-4/ME-100/Auburn (Washington Street and Minot Avenue) for about 4.75 mi., to the intersection with Court Street. Turn right onto Court Street. Cross the bridge into Lewiston. Take the first right onto Lincoln Street. Simard-Payne Memorial Park is located off Oxford Street, one block over from Lincoln.