Hot-air balloon fests over Israel

Two colorful hot-air ballooning festivals will brighten the skies above Israel in October.

Not one, but two hot-air ballooning festivals will take to the Israeli skies during the Sukkot holiday this year – one in the north and one in the south – for the viewing pleasure of vacationing Israelis and tourists.

On October 3-4, the Gilboa Regional Council will host its second annual Hot Air Balloon Family Festival at Ma’ayan Harod National Park in the Jezreel Valley up north.

At sunrise on the second day of the festival, American and Israeli hot-air balloon pilots will launch an 80-day joint journey expected to pass through five continents. The first day is dedicated to arts and crafts activities, performances by the Israeli “A Star is Born” winner Roni Dalumi, big-screen movies and a Night Glow show featuring the balloons after dark. If you’re in the area, you can call for tickets: 08-8663300 or 04-8418411.

Photo courtesy of SkyTrek

Photo courtesy of SkyTrek

The Israeli hot-air balloon company SkyTrek will use its balloon to raise awareness for Jordan River Village, a new retreat for children suffering from cancer and other serious illnesses. The Israeli actor Haim Topol will be in the basket together with a few children from the current camp session.

Down south in historic Timna Park near Eilat, the annual International Hot Air Balloon Festival is set for October 3-5.

Each day of this festival is split into two main parts: From 5:00 in the morning, a variety of balloons will launch, and there will be shows for children and environmentally friendly workshops, in addition to touring the ancient copper mining sites and manmade lake in Timna Park. From 4:00 in the afternoon, a Night Glow show will light up the sky. Tickets: 08-6316756 or *6226.

Both festival locations will offer overnight campgrounds for those who don’t want to miss a minute of the fun.

About Abigail Klein Leichman

Abigail Klein Leichman is a writer and associate editor at ISRAEL21c. Prior to moving to Israel in 2007, she was a specialty writer and copy editor at a daily newspaper in New Jersey and has freelanced for a variety of newspapers and periodicals since 1984.
  • idoseorge

    as far as i know the first company in israel for hot air balloons (and the one who created the hab festivals in both north and south) is Rize Up – and they also made the video above… nice story though.

  • carla cenker

    will there be any festivals in israel in 2015??

  • Abigail Leichman

    The Gilboa International Hot Air Balloon Festival is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 3-4, 2015 ( Dates for the southern hot air balloon festival are not available yet, but it will also take place in October.