There are many types of hot air balloon events held across the country, and internationally as well. We are very fortunate to be able to host the Hot Air Balloon Shoot-Out. This year will be the 17th annual competitive event. The event will begin the evening of June 3rd and conclude the morning of June 5th.

We will be hosting 15 hot air balloon pilots as we come together to celebrate what is great about ballooning.  This group of visitors are a tight knit community that have welcomed many Carson City residents into their 'family' as crew members as well as future pilots. We extend a very warm welcome to our visitors and are looking forward to making more memories.

The evening balloon flights will launch from Fort Frontier Park.  Make your way to the park and watch from either side of Fish Creek.  There is not a bad seat in the park.  You will get a great view of these balloons as they take flight and make their way through the skies above Carson. The morning flights will be held in the early hours on Saturday and Sunday. All of our pilots will meet for a weather and safety briefing, and then set off for launch sites throughout the surrounding area.  Planning is critical for these flights. These are normally multiple task flights as they fly from target to target dropping a baggie in hopes of being the closest to target. It is amazing to watch the pilots maneuver their balloon toward the target.

Points are awarded to pilots according to how close a pilot's 'baggie' lands near the center of the 'X'. It is very important to remember that as spectators, everyone must stay at least 500 feet away from each target. Safety of our participants is extremely important.

Grab a lawn chair/blanket and head to the park in the evenings to watch and/or grab your cup of coffee in the mornings and head to your porch or deck and enjoy the view of the beautiful balloons as they take flight. Make sure you look for your favorite.  Give them a wave and a cheer of encouragement.

Light Up The Night Balloon Glow

On Friday and Saturday nights during the festival, there will be two events that you will not want to miss.  We will be 'lighting up the night' at Fort Frontier Park at dusk.  The balloons will be returning after their evening flights to inflate and stand up their balloons.  This time the balloons will not leave the ground.  Balloons will be inflated and the pilots will stand up their balloons and use their burners to illuminate the envelopes to showcase their spectacular colors.   This is a community favorite.  Make sure you have your camera ready as our announcer counts down to 3...2...1...Glow.  It is spectacular.


* As always, all balloons events are subject to weather *



Glow Night

Tethered Balloon Rides

screen shot 2022 03 13 at 8.31.16 pmWant a taste of a hot air balloon flight?  Tethered rides give you a chance to sample the experience of a hot air balloon flight.  The balloon is anchored to the ground limiting the rides to 75-100 feet off the ground.  Like all balloon flights, tethered rides are based on wind and weather.

This year for the 50th celebration of Carson City Frontier Days, we are offering tethered balloon rides to our community.  The tethered rides will be held at Fort Frontier Park on Friday and Saturday from approximately 4:00 p.m. – 6: 00p.m. (based on weather).

Some things you will need to know about tethered rides:

  • You will have an FAA certified pilot in the balloon basket.
  • The total number of people we will be able to provide tethered rides is dependent upon weather and wind.  All of these factors may change and are out the control of the festival volunteers.
  • Tethered rides normally last 10 minutes
  • Children under 42” may not ride without a parent or guardian
  • Children five years of age and over would enjoy a tethered ride. A parent or legal guardian must accompany children at all times.  Please keep in mind – hot air balloon burners are not and make a loud sound.  If your child is timid or afraid of loud sounds, it may be better to wait until they are older.screen shot 2022 03 13 at 8.32.06 pm
  • Rides are available first come first served.
  • There are a limited number of rides available for each session. We expect demand to be high, so plan to arrive early.  No one is guaranteed a tethered ride and operations may stop based on wind/weather.
  • There are no advanced tickets. Cash only.
  • Most balloon baskets are not equipped with doors, so passengers will need to have the ability to climb over the side of the basket.
  • Typically balloons can carry 3 to 4 people at a time. Larger groups of riders will likely be split up over multiple rides.
  • The size of the balloon, weight of passengers, and the air temperature determine how many people can be lifted at a time.
  • Cost of a tethered balloon ride is $20 per adult (13+) and $10 12 years and under.

If this is something you are interested in, make sure you grab your camera and get there early for your spot in line.

The Pilots

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Pilot Shawn Raya


Sponsor:  Spicer Group, Inc

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Pilot Jeff Pestun

Funky Cold Medina, Ohio

Sponsors:  R.H. Wiles Sales and Choice One Insurance

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Pilot Larry Coan


Sponsors:  Lux & Schnepp Funeral Homes and Hammond Wholesale

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Pilot DJ Wertman


Sponsor:  Carson City Parts Plus & Service

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Pilot Rick Kerber

Michigan Cat

Sponsor:  Betty Kellengerger

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Pilot Derrick Jones


Sponsor:  All Seasons Insurance

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Pilot Tom Brown


Sponsor:  The Butler Family

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Pilot Janet Lutkus

Goodnight Gracie

Sponsor:  Donohue Dentistry

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Pilot Mark Enszer


Sponsor:  Gage Electric

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Pilot Wes Dickerson

Fore II

Sponsors:  Barnes True Value Hardware & Muffin Top Bakery & Deli

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Pilot Travis Gauthier

Corn Nutz

Sponsors:  OUCH Urgent Care and Clinton County Medical Center

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Pilot Marty Gauthier


Sponsor:  CMS Internet LLC

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So Much To Do

  • 003 Hot Air Baloon Flying
    Watch Balloon Race
  • Enjoy Family Friendly Entertaiment
  • 013 Bearer
    Watch a parade
  • 007 Craft
    Craft Show



Carson City Frontier Days, Inc
PO Box 293
Carson City, MI  48811