Your guide to the Freedom Balloon Fest in Fuquay-Varina

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Hot air balloons take flight at the Freedom Balloon Fest (WTVD)

The Freedom Balloon Fest will be returning to Fuquay-Varina this weekend and tens of thousands are expected to attend.

The festival will be held at Fleming Loop Park Friday through Monday. It will include hot air balloon competitions, live music, tethered rides and a beer and wine garden. The festival will not be offering its own parking. Instead, the festival organizers are offering a list of parking lots. View them here.

Some of the parking lots are free and some cost up to $10.

Best time to see the balloons

If you want to see balloons in flight, come early and/or stay late. People who wish to see the morning flights need to plan to be at the park at 6 a.m. Afternoon flights and tethered rides begin after 6 p.m.

Want to ride?

Tethered balloon rides require a signed waiver of liability. Children 18 and under must have a signature from a parent or guardian. You can view complete details about tethered rides here.

Tethered rides are being offered each evening. The balloon is anchored to the ground and suspended 30 to 40 feet in the air.

It costs $20 per ride and is cash only.

What else is going on

When balloons aren't in the air, there are still things to do at the park. There will be an arts and craft village, vintage amusement park rides and plenty of food options. Live music starts around 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The craft beer and wine garden will open at noon on Saturday and Sunday.

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