The skies above Saint Jean sur Richelieu and the surrounding areas will be filled with 115 hot air balloons from August 14-22. It is that time again – the 27th annual International Balloon Festival of Saint Jean sur Richelieu. The multi-shaped (bees, monkeys, Purple People Eater, zebra, joker, pig, crab, dog) and multi-coloured balloons hailing from Canada, United States, Brazil, and France will take to the skies each morning and evening weather permitting. If you have never seen this it is something you must take the time to see. It is quite spectacular. From a vantage point right up near where the balloons are inflated, you get to see the work that goes into getting these huge things up in the air. If you are interested you can also purchase a flight on one of the balloons and I guarantee it will be an experience that you won't soon forget.
Besides the balloons there is also a plethora of other activities scheduled everyday for the entire family. I will highlight just some of the things you can spend your time there doing. Once again Balloon Planet will be a popular section with the younger ones. It is a large inflatable games area with about 50 attractions. Kids can climb and bounce to their heart's content. New this year is The Beast. The Beast is an inflatable creature that will entertain the younger kids during the day and scare the older ones at night.
The Fluorescent Dome is a large 70 foot inflatable dome that once you walk inside will be transported to a parallel universe…or something like that. Black light special effects will light up the Dome and a DJ will be there spinning the tunes. You can get fluorescent accessories to amplify your experience and even get you face painted with fluorescent paint.
Another popular area is the Ride Zone. A small amusement park is set up on the festival grounds. There for a small additional fee (rides are not included in the entrance fee) you can choose to be spun, twirled and whirled as much as your stomach can take. There are rides geared for the not so adventurous or the smaller members of the family.
For nine nights during the run of the festival there will be concerts/shows on the Loto Quebec Stage. Artists such as Les Trois Accords, Adam Lambert, Akon, K-Maro, Marjo, and Les Cowboys Fringants will perform. The shows are free with your admission.
Finally, title sponsors of the festival, Laurentian Bank, have provided an area called Entertainment Zone: Laurentian Bank Little. In this area small people can find plenty of fun things to do. Whether it is the Laurentian Bank Giant Chair, the sandbox, Fishing for Numbers, or the Balloon Booth they are sure to enjoy themselves.
-Ticket Purchase: At door on day of entrance
-Ticket Prices: Kids (0-2): Free
Children (3-12): $7.00
Adults (13+): $16.00
Family Package (2 adults and 2 children): $37.00
-Parking Price: Cars: $6.00/day
-Hot Air Balloon Rides: Mornings: $160/person
-Hours: Monday – Friday: 3:30 p.m. – End of show
Saturday – Sunday: 12:00 p.m. – End of show