Inflated Family Fun

Festival of Balloons brings its joie de vivre to New Orleans

Every parent knows if there is a helium balloon to be had, their child will want one. And who has ever refused a balloon animal from a talented balloon artist (who wasn’t dressed like a scary clown)?

This Sunday, April 10, celebrate all things balloon at the 2016 Festival of Balloons. Located at the New Orleans Hilton Riverside from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., it’s an easy addition to your French Quarter Fest itinerary, and one that will surely entertain the entire family.

The biannual event touts the world’s largest showcase of balloon sculptures, balloon décor and creative balloon entertainers. The Festival of Balloons promises cars, superheroes and even animation all made from different types of balloons.

Imagine your basic balloon animal tiger. Now consider if the balloon artist had four days and hundreds of balloons on hand to build it. Organizers promise a magical room of balloons, an area where visitors can touch and photograph the balloon sculptures and a third hall that will feature live entertainment and some of the world’s most talented balloon artists.

The Festival of Balloons is actually the culmination of the World Balloon Convention, an international conference that brings balloon artists and aficionados from around the world together to learn from each other and compete in their chosen medium. So the Sunday Festival is truly a passport to international creativity and will feature multicultural displays that have been assembled over the course of days.

Interactive balloon demonstrations and entertainment will dazzle visitors and there will even be people dressed in balloon couture. And experts will be on-hand to teach balloon bending techniques so you can learn to make your own balloon characters.

Most of the displays at the Festival will be “look but don’t touch”, but there will be an area where entertainers will create treasures that can be purchased and brought home.

As a special sneak peak into the Festival, event organizers held a free show at a local elementary school that featured both a balloon entertainer and artist, who each performed for the children and answered their questions about their process and inspirations.

So if you’re in town this weekend and looking for a special experience for the family, or you’re at French Quarter Fest and the kids start to complain about your dancing, walk to the New Orleans Hilton Riverside for a change of pace. The last Festival took place in Denver, Colorado in 2014 and thousands of families attended.

Tickets to the Festival of Balloons are $10 and admission is free for children 12 and under. Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance online.



Categories: Tourism Biz