TEMECULA, CA — Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival set off multiple hot air balloons Thursday morning ahead of the 2024 Temecula annual event.

The festival returns this weekend with hot-air balloon launches, live music, food, and, of course, local wine. Local dignitaries, including Mayor James “Stew” Stewart, met balloon pilots and crews before they took to the skies.

First, the large canopies are unrolled across the damp morning grass.

Find out what's happening in Temeculawith free, real-time updates from Patch.

Secondly, the flame is ignited to superheat the balloon until it has the look of a stained glass cathedral window.

Finally, the balloon is managed by a ground crew as it seemingly defies gravity.

Find out what's happening in Temeculawith free, real-time updates from Patch.

“Hot air balloon rides offer a unique perspective of the scenery below, with flights soaring as high as hundreds of feet into the sky.”

Weather permitting, tethered and hot air balloon rides are available Saturday and Sunday only. The non-tethered balloon rides last about an hour, and launches begin at 6 a.m.

Unfortunately, Mother Nature does not always provide safe weather conditions for hot air balloon operations.

“Our balloon meister, in conjunction with the local fire department, is trained and qualified to evaluate the weather forecast and current conditions and decide if it is safe to operate the balloons,” they said. “As much as we hate to disappoint the public, our priority is the safety of our guests and pilots and crew. We will notify you via public announcement if we need to cancel the balloon portion of the event.”
Click Here: Paul Pogba Jersey Sale

Get more local news delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for free Patch newsletters and alerts.