Balloon Festival

The Gatineau Balloon Festival; every year on or near labour day weekend, the graceful shapes and awesome colours of hot air balloons dot the sky around the greater Ottawa area It is the balloon festival, held every year in Gatineau.

The Outaouais area celebrates one of its biggest summer festival: the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival (FMG), now surpassing the quarter century mark. More than a quarter century of celebrations, with unbelievable memories, unforgettable shows and incredible flights.

Each year, the Balloon Festival outdoes it’s previous year’s gala. What will future years bring?

More than 250,000 people flock to the balloon grounds, to participate in the festival and enjoy more than just the balloons themselves.

The dazzling array of hot air balloons include many shapes and sizes, including a cartoon turtle, a sunflower, a jester, a cartoon skunk, along with dozens of the traditional balloon shapes.

Gatineau Balloon Festival by night

More Than Balloons

Just some of the other activities visitors can enjoy are:

  • trick bike riding
  • strong man contests
  • magic shows
  • midway & rides
  • live entertainment
  • incredible fireworks
  • special balloon flights
  • live, name bands
  • RV Parking

… and so much more.

Weightlifters at the Gatineau Balloon Festival

Weightlifters at the Gatineau Balloon Festival

Where is the Balloon Festival?

The Balloon Festival takes place every year at the de la Baie park. It is just a couple of kilometers from the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa.

The entrance to the general public parking is located at 988, St-Louis street in Gatineau. This is just a kilometer or so along the river from the Angus L. Macdonald Bridge, which spans the Ottawa River between Ottawa and Hull.

Coming to the Balloon Festival from Ottawa, here are the directions provided by the festival site: Once you cross the bridge, immediately take the first exit on your right (Boul. Maisonneuve-centre-ville-Boul. Fournier). Follow the signs for Boulevard Fournier. Stay on Boulevard Fournier and cross the Lady Aberdeen Bridge. At the traffic lights immediately after the bridge, turn right at the church (Rue Jacques-Cartier) and take the first street on your left (Rue de la Baie). Follow the signs to parking lot at 988 Rue St-Louis.

For more information and updates, please visit the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival website (