The Up Up and Away Florida Hot Air Balloon Festival is coming to the SUN ‘n FUN Expo Campus in Lakeland on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, February 28, 29 and March 1. Up Up and Away Florida will host air balloon pilots from across the country for this three-day festival that will feature picturesque ascensions and balloon glows.

In addition, the festival will host tethered balloon rides, a kids zone, arts and craft vendors, local eats and treats, beer and mimosa garden, archery tag, flyout and helicopter rides. Live music from award-winning guitarist, songwriter, producer and band leader Rico Monaco, featuring special guest and Billboard Music Award winner Tito Puente Jr., will headline each day, along with other local acts such as Audio Exchange and the Tracey Coryell Duo.

“Our entertainment is going to be world-class.” said Ron Clukey, executive director of Up Up and Away Florida. “It’s going to be a fun weekend of hot air ballooning aviation and balloon glows with other unique traditions at SUN ‘n FUN.”

In addition to the family sound entertainment throughout the weekend, Shania the Aerialist will defy gravity and dance in the air, performing high above the ground for all three days of the event. And don’t miss On Pointe Dance Academy performing a stunning routine on Saturday at the festival. All eyes will be in the sky and on the ground in Lakeland during this community event.

“We’ve received tremendous support from other business and community leaders,” said Chris Antonious, president of Vitae Sports & Entertainment and managing director of Up Up and Away Florida. “Lakeland is a special place and we are excited to launch this niche event to create opportunities for local causes.”

Attendees can also stay on-site for an extended weekend of RV or tent camping at the SUN ‘n FUN Campgrounds, placing them steps away from the other great attractions it is hosting.

Up Up and Away Florida is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit hot air balloon festival that is dedicated to producing a family-oriented, high-quality event that offers other local nonprofits an opportunity to assist in the operations of the festival. It is an educational and community exposition for the citizens and visitors of Florida which fosters pride, education, growth and prosperity.

One-day passes are $15 per day. Weekend passes are $20 and are only available online until Tuesday, February 25. Children under age 12 get free admission. Tethered rides will be $20 per person and go up 20-30 feet in the air. Riders must be over 36 inches tall, and all balloon activities are weather permitting

The festival will be held at the SUN ‘n FUN Expo Campus, located at 4175 Medulla Rd. in Lakeland. For more information about Up Up and Away Florida, please visit

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