Winthrop Balloon Festival

The skies of Winthrop and the Methow Valley will brighten with the brilliant colors of over a dozen hot air balloons in the Winthrop Balloon Roundup. This three-day Balloon Festival, now in it's 17th year, is a photographer's dream. It's an incredible visual display as the balloons fly over the old western town of Winthrop and with the snow-capped mountains of the North Cascades as a backdrop.

Saturday, March 8 - Balloon inflation and launching
7:00 a.m. at the Winthrop Inn

Nighttime Balloon Glow
6:00 p.m.
in downtown Winthrop. Several hot air balloons will light up the night sky as they inflate and glow like enormous lanterns. Come see the balloons up close.

Sunday, March 9 - The final Roundup
7:00 a.m. at the Winthrop Inn: Balloon inflation and launching.

***All events are weather permitting.
Pets are discouraged.***

Lodging can be found at http://winthropwashington.com/hotels-motels/

Note: I went two years ago and nearly froze my toes off - it will be cold, so dress accordingly! I'll be staying at the Winthrop Inn, leaving Seattle on Friday, the 7th at 1pm. Send me a message is your want my cell phone info to meet up in Winthrop.

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  • Jags

    Drive to winthrop during this meetup weekend was awesome. It was fun and hope to see more such events in future.

    March 12, 2014

  • Jags

    I will be coming to Winthrop on Saturday from Redmond, will miss the Saturday morning festival but will be there for the balloon light up at 06:00 PM. Staying at Winthrop Inn overnight.

    March 7, 2014

    • Anita E.

      With the rain, they were saying the rest would be cancelled. I hope it wasn't on Saturday night and you at least got some balloons aglow shots.

      March 9, 2014

    • Jags

      @ Anita Balloon Light up was cancelled on saturday night, but luckily we were able to catch up Sunday morning as weather turned out to be awesome..:)

      1 · March 10, 2014

  • Anita E.

    Post 5-6 of your favorites here!

    March 8, 2014

  • Lynn D.

    Good to be here, took lots of pictures!

    March 8, 2014

  • Jessica

    Looking forward to meeting everyone and seeing the balloons! I will be staying at the Winthrop Inn as well, with my husband and kids.

    March 6, 2014

    • Anita E.

      What room? I'm in 205

      March 7, 2014

  • Anita E.

    Currently at 3 fingered Jack,a for dinner. Staying at Winthrop Inn rm 205.

    March 7, 2014

  • Jessica

    I was looking forward to this, but unfortunately, have to cancel due to an unforeseen circumstance :(

    March 7, 2014

  • Jeff L.

    would love to be there but i have to work Saturday and Sunday. have fun

    March 7, 2014

  • Sal C.

    Hi all, I need to cancel due to family issues. Have a fun shoot!

    March 7, 2014

  • Anita E.

    If you didn't book a room, you might be out of look. I do know that the Winthrop Inn is totally booked this weekend and my guess is that many other hotels will be equally booked due to this popular event. Snoqualmie pass was open today and should be tomorrow, so it looks like I will be leaving around 1pm tomorrow (Friday).

    March 7, 2014

  • James H.

    would love to go but at this time, too far and not in budget.

    March 6, 2014

  • J G.

    Was really looking forward to this but couldn't find a ride so going to have to pass...

    March 3, 2014

  • Anita E.

    Be sure to check the passes before you leave - they may be closed or you may need chains.

    Snoqualmie Pass - http://www.wsdot.com/traffic/passes/snoqualmie/

    Steven's Pass - http://www.wsdot.com/TRAFFIC/passes/stevens/default.aspx

    Note: if both passes are closed on Friday, I will not be attending. Same if chains are needed (I don't own any since I never drive in conditions that need them).

    March 3, 2014

  • Anita E.

    I see that several people are in need of transportation and/or rooms. Rooms may be hard to get at this point (should have booked early), so be sure to call the hotels for availability before heading out.

    February 28, 2014

  • Wendy T

    I am looking to carpool and share the room with someone. I live in Bellevue but can meet you somewhere close by. Thanks!

    February 24, 2014

    • J G.

      If you are willing to drive I am looking to room with someone.

      February 25, 2014

  • Kelly

    Hello, I'm looking to catch a ride with someone either from West Seattle or downtown Seattle and also would love to share a room with someone (probably too cold to camp)

    February 8, 2014

  • Chandru M.

    Fellow photogs, I am looking for someone to share a room. I am planning to drive, so you can carpool with me.

    February 8, 2014

  • Linda

    Anyone know what the roads are like at that time of year?

    December 30, 2013

    • Mary A.

      Do you need chains for hwy 2 usually?

      January 26, 2014

    • Anita E.

      Not sure - I usually check online the day before, then decide my route.

      February 1, 2014

  • J G.

    Interested in sharing a room and looking for a ride as well.

    January 15, 2014

    • Claudia C.

      I won't be going unless I can get a ride and share a room - sorry, I'm a fair weather driver!

      January 22, 2014

    • J G.

      I'm in the same boat. Need a ride and someone to share a room with otherwise I will be unable to attend...

      January 23, 2014

  • Claudia C.

    I'm interested in going ... if I could share a ride with someone leaving from Seattle! Also willing to share accommodations. Could leave on Friday if needed.

    December 30, 2013

    • Linda

      Me too.

      December 30, 2013

    • J G.

      I am unable to drive but if I could hitch a ride with someone I would like to share a room.

      January 22, 2014

  • Anita E.

    FYI - look for me at the Winthrop Inn launch area, 7am on March 8th, near the coffee stand (lord knows I'll need it to wake up and keep warm!). You'll recognize me by the multitude of braids.

    January 14, 2014

  • Anita E.

    I already have someone to share a ride and accommodations with me. Sorry.

    December 30, 2013

  • Luc F.

    wow! 4 hours ride from seattle?!

    December 30, 2013

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