In March every year, on the edge of Hamilton’s central city lake and at the grounds of the University of Waikato, more than 130,000 spectators will attend the annual FREE Balloons over Waikato Festival.
Colourful hot air balloons from New Zealand and around the world, come to participate in the five-day event providing a spectacle not to be missed.
The programme of events includes the Mass Ascension, competitive flying tasks, and community activities such as the School Hop, City Burn, Breakfast at Dawn and the Zuru Nightglow. The Nightglow is Hamilton’s biggest night out, with 5 hours of live entertainment on the main stage, carnival rides, food, and a whole lot of family fun. At the Nightglow the balloons light up, synchronized with music, and co-ordinate their stunning basket burn flames, with the show culminating in a fireworks extravaganza.
The stars of the festival are the shaped hot air balloons known as ‘Special Shapes‘. Over the years Balloons over Waikato has hosted everything from an ark full of animals, a peg-legged pirate parrot to Darth Vader, a 3 tiered birthday cake to a Nightmare House, and 2016 saw an elephant named Peanut, a Princess Carriage and a Racing Car! What will feature at the 2017 event?