This coming weekend, January 26-27, marks the kick-off of the 35th Festival International de Ballons in Château-d’Oex, Canton Vaud, a town nestled in the mountains two hours from Geneva. The festival has been held at the end of January annually since 1979. Admission costs 10 CHF for adults (weekends only); children 14 years and younger enter for free.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Over the course of nine days, spectators can enjoy paragliding displays, the inflation and take-off of special shape balloons, passenger flights, concerts, hang gliding acrobatics, and other air shows.

On Wednesday, January 30th, Children’s Afternoon at the festival begins at 13:30. The day features shows and activities for kids, including tether rides (weather permitting) and a group balloon release.

Photo credit: Festivaldeballons.ch

Photo credit: Festivaldeballons.ch

One of the highlights of the festival is the “night glow,” where the balloons are all illuminated after sunset. This year’s night glow is scheduled for Saturday, February 2nd, and the theme of the show is “Happy Birthday.” Music from the last 35 years will accompany a 30-minute light show.

Photo credit: Festivaldeballons.ch

Photo credit: Festivaldeballons.ch

For more information, go to the homepage for the festival, http://www.festivaldeballons.ch/en/index

Download a map of the festival, including areas for parking, here.

More information about Night Glow is available here.

Château-d’Oex is accessible by car, train, and by airplane. More information about access and transportation is available here.

We are a group of international women living in Geneva, Switzerland.  If you would like to join the AIWC, please visit our website at http://www.aiwcgeneva.org/.

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