Balloon & wine festival lights up skies of Temecula Valley

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With the best cup of coffee in hand, a vista of emerald and olive green rolling hills, and crystal clear cerulean blue skies, nothing beats a hot air balloon dawn in the Temecula Valley. Long-time residents can’t resist showing off to their east coast relatives. First time visitors are so caught up in the breathtaking scene of a sky filled with graceful hot air balloons,  they forget to snap selfies.

It is this beauty that the Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival celebrates every year with a three-day Festival, in the heart of Southern California Wine Country. The 34 year old event returns to Lake Skinner Recreation Area, June 2-4, 2017.  A multi-species reserve, Lake Skinner offers the “Best of the Fest” for those who camp during the event, as they are surrounded by nature that is nurtured by a perfect climate.

While hot air balloons are the dawn highlights, Temecula’s wine industry shines throughout the day with 17 wineries represented in the wine gardens.  The Festival offers guests a variety of ways to discover their favorite.  Wine tasting  is $2 per taste.  A premium tasting treat, reserve packages include a larger  wine glass,  and  eight tastes of reserve wines for $50.  Full glasses can be purchased for $8.

For those who want to pair local wines with local cuisines, the Festival offers three wine and food pairing sessions. Here, four courses are paired with the perfect Southern California Wine, while the chefs share their recipes and prepare their food on stage

Afternoons and evenings also include live music on two stages.  Headliners include and a Back to the 80s’ Friday bash with The Motels, Dramarama, Annabella’s Bow Wow Wow, Nu Shooz, Pretty Poison, Tommy Tutone, and Gene Loves Jezebel,  Rockin’ Saturday with  Bush, Gin Blossoms, Tonic,  Jazz saxophonist Mindi Abair & the Boneshakers, and Country Sunday with Josh Turner, Cassadee Pope,  David Nail and “Nashville” actor/singer Chris Carmack.

The Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival features dawn hot air balloon launches Saturday & Sunday, free morning tethered rides (weather permitting), premium wine tasting, microbrew tasting, food and wine pairing, chef demonstrations and beer and food pairing, as well as a full international food court,  arts and crafts, and a kids faire. Friday and Saturday evenings also feature the popular evening balloon glow (weather permitting.) DJs  Pasha on Friday, and Orion on Saturday close the days with  dance party at the Wine Garden stage

Check for scheduled times and activities or call (951) 676-6713. Hot air balloon flights, tethers and evening glows are subject last minute cancellations due to weather.

Starting at $23 – Purchase tickets

General admission tickets include festival admittance and general admission seating to all concerts. Children 5 and under are free.

  • Friday: $23
  • Saturday: $33
  • Sunday: $23
  • Weekend Combo: $60
  • Youth, 6-12: $5
  • Friday: $30
  • Saturday: $40
  • Sunday: $30
  • Sunday Only active military (ID required): $20
  • Youth, 6-12: $5

Tickets can be purchased at $2.00 off the gate price at these participating CVS locations.

  • 30724 Benton Road, Winchester – 951-926-1223
  • 33205 Temecula Parkway, Temecula – 951-303-3164
  • 40365 Winchester Road, Temecula – 951-286-2668
  • 29610 Rancho California Road, Temecula – 951-699-0192
  • 25080 Hancock Avenue, Murrieta – 951-677-6294
  • 31771 Rancho California Road, Temecula – 951-699-7587
  • 31021 Temecula Parkway, Temecula – 951-303-0740
  • 30640 Rancho California Road, Temecula – 951-695-1710

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