Northampton Balloon Festival returns to the Racecourse

Posted 1st August 2023

The Northampton Balloon Festival makes a welcome return to the Racecourse this August, after a 14-year absence from the park. 

The popular festival will take place across three days from Friday 18th to Sunday 20th August, with over 50 hot air balloons on display, alongside a packed timetable of activities and entertainment for all the family. 

Northampton Town Council are delighted to support the event, which is being organised by Show Time Events Group (Northern). 

Action Man, a coffee cup, a dragon, a globe and Thomas the Tank Engine will be among the many balloons taking to the evening skies, weather permitting, and at dusk, balloon glows are planned to create a magical atmosphere. 

Dave Bailey, Director at Showtime Events Group, said: “With three full days of amazing entertainment and a huge number of balloons, we are hoping to re-establish Northampton Balloon Festival as one of the most popular balloon festivals in the country. 

“We know the festival means a lot to the people of Northampton, many of who will have attended when it originally took place on the Racecourse from 1989 to 2008, so we are aiming to make this an event to remember.” 

As well as the huge number of balloons, visitors will be able to enjoy live entertainment from the American Civil War Society, who will be doing battle re-enactments, the Equine Stunt Show team, with a high energy horseback display, the RPM bike display team and the Stannage Stunt Team. 

Other entertainment will include circus workshops, birds of prey display, ferret racing, face painting, Punch and Judy shows, the Northamptonshire Scouts, the British Army and the Honda Goldwing Owners Bikes and Trikes UK club, plus a spectacular firework display on the final evening. Pre-bookable balloon flights will also be available from Northampton-based Vista Balloon Flights. 

The town council is set to host a Community Marquee, featuring over 20 stalls from a range of local community organisations and not for profit groups, while handmade gifts will be on sale in a Craft Marquee. Trade stands, food and drink stalls and a funfair will also operate across the three days. 

Councillor Jane Birch, Chair of the Community Services Committee at Northampton Town Council, said: “Many people from Northampton will have nostalgic memories of the Balloon Festival and hot air balloons flying across our skies. 

“We welcome the festival’s return and look forward to hosting the Community Marquee, which will showcase some of the wonderful local groups and organisations we have in the town.” Early bird entry tickets are available to purchase at a discounted price of £2.50 plus booking fee from or can be bought on the gates each day, at a price of £4 for adults and £3 for children, with free entry for children under a meter tall. Dogs are also welcome. 

The festival will be open from midday to 10.30pm daily, with onsite parking available at an additional cost. 

Visit the Northampton Balloon Festival’s website or Facebook page for further information about the event.