Fall can be a wonderful time of year, with summer foliage transforming into a kaleidoscope of oranges, reds, browns, and yellows. If you’re all about making the world a more colorful and vibrant place, then it might be time to attend the Great Prosser Balloon Rally in Prosser, Washington.
This three-day event is held at the Prosser Washington Airport at 111 Nunn Road and continues to be a highlight for travelers far and wide. It’s hard to believe it all began with one man’s passion in the early 1990s.
Balloon pilot Ted Wirch had visited Prosser to offer his parents-in-law a ride in his balloon. While traveling high in the sky, he immediately noticed the beauty of Prosser. He told all his ballooning friends about what they could expect on their ballooning trips over the Washington city, and that was that.
The first rally in the early 1990s saw 11 hot air balloons take to the sky on an early morning in fall. By 2013, around 30 had joined in on the fun.
Since that day, the Great Prosser Balloon Rally has grown in leaps and bounds. It forms part of an action-packed weekend with a Night Glow Show at the Art Fiker Stadium, Farmers Market, Harvest Festival, and a street painting festival. Arrive bright and early for the sunrise launching from the Prosser Washington Airport, then see what else the area has to offer.
There are plenty of wineries to visit, hiking at Horse Heaven Hills, and exploring at Sunnyside Wildlife Recreation Area by Byron Ponds. Come for the sunrise release of hot air balloons, but stay for the many fun things to see, do, and experience in Prosser, Washington.
Great Prosser Balloon Rally is an event run by volunteers helping to provide a free experience. Both day parking and admission is free for all, which means that it’s the perfect event in which to bring the whole family. Save your pennies for all the fun events going on in Prosser at the same time. Costs may apply for RV overnight parking.
Prosser is a beautiful city in Benton County, Washington, situated along the Yakima River. It boasts proximity to the Yakima Valley and is well-appointed for effortless access from Sunnyside, Benton City, Grandview, and Mabton.
Those who are unfamiliar with the roads surrounding Prosser will take great relief in knowing that many major highways link to this city. Journey down I-82, US Route 12, WA-221, or WA-22 to get to your destination. Monitoring a traffic alert site such as WSDOT can ensure you’re well aware of any delays, congestion, or road construction on your travels.
There is plenty of parking for both RVs and pilot vehicles during the Great Prosser Balloon Rally. Given that this event kicks off at sunrise, you may not strike too much traffic on the road to get to a parking space either the morning of the event. In the past, there has been no cost for parking. However, parking availability and prices can vary for other events in Prosser to celebrate the Great Prosser Balloon Rally at the same time.
Since many events within Prosser make up the Great Prosser Balloon Rally, the limited bus routes may be just enough to get you between locations. If you plan on going from one activity to the next, being able to leave your RV at your accommodation can take a lot of stress out of your travels. Alongside walking or taking a tow vehicle, you can also bike from one venue to the next.
While onsite camping is not available at the airport, the event organizers have made sure that RV-goers will have somewhere to stay. Community locations offer overnight RV parking, often including Bethel Church, about a mile's drive from the airport and an even shorter walk.
In the past, guests of the Bethel Church lot have been allowed to have dogs on leashes but no alcohol or open fires. Fees are usually on a “suggested donation” basis, and you may try your luck to arrive on the day or preserve your space in advance.
If you are using your RV holiday as an opportunity to treat yourself, then Prosser and nearby cities will deliver. There are many standout RV resorts in Benton County that will more than meet the mark for your needs, including a few options within Prosser.
Some boast primitive RV camping opportunities, while others are more than happy to offer service hookups such as sewer, water, and electricity. You also won’t have any problem finding somewhere accessible with a large RV, like Pasco / Tri-Cities KOA, about 30 miles east.
Remember, the closer to the Great Prosser Balloon Rally you are, the later you can sleep in before the sunrise event begins. Book in advance to ensure you get your preferred choice.
Prosser makes sure that the Great Prosser Balloon Rally incorporates more than a balloon launch. The entire city comes alive with activities and events, such as a street dance, harvest festival, Night Glow, and special breakfasts.
With plenty of things to do in the town, having a sound way of getting around can be crucial. Having a bicycle in your RV can prove helpful, as can scooters and durable footwear. However, you may also like to enlist the services of a rideshare service provider who can shuttle you around after you book their services on an app.
It’s worth putting a little extra thought into your wardrobe for your trip to Prosser, Washington. The early morning Great Prosser Balloon Rally will see the need for you to dress warmly, but daytime temperatures in fall can generally be quite mild. Don’t forget a few extra layers for those plummeting nighttime temperatures. In the spirit of hot air balloons, it’s a good idea to pack beautiful and vibrant colors.
You won’t need to bring much to see the Great Prosser Balloon Rally. This event is one that sets the scene for a myriad of others, so you can safely leave most of your possessions in your RV. It’s also paramount that you don’t bring your pets, drones, or cigarettes to the launch field either. You may like to bring cash to take advantage of the Balloon Rally memorabilia on sale at the Prosser Airport.
Because you’ll be at an airport and in the vicinity of hot air balloons, health and safety are paramount. Be aware of your surroundings at all times, and consider ear protection if your ears are sensitive to loud or high-pitched noises. Don’t forget to pack a first aid kit, toiletries, any prescription medication you might need, and sun safety products in your RV.
The RV accommodation organized by the Great Prosser Balloon Rally volunteer group allows the use of your onboard kitchen appliances, but not fires. Therefore, it’s a good idea to think about the food you can cook in your RV as opposed to things like s’mores and camp hot dogs that work better in a campfire setting.
If you are staying at a campground, familiarize yourself with the RV camping rules before you haul out your charcoal grill. You can also pick up supplies for your travels within a 1.5-mile distance of the Prosser Washington Airport.
If you don’t think camp-style hot dogs can sustain you for your entire vacation in Prosser, then why not check out the established eateries in the city center? From pizza and café-style food to wines paired beautifully with gourmet cuisine, you’re spoiled for choice. You can even get food to take and enjoy in your RV or at a local park. Remember to carry both cash and payment cards to make sure you have the correct payment type for any establishment.
For those who want to stay in Prosser to experience more than the Great Prosser Balloon Rally, you’re in for a treat. You can take advantage of the Balloon Rally memorabilia for sale at the Prosser Washington Airport, as well as vendor stalls at many other events.
Pay a visit to the Farmers Market between the City Park and the library, and the Harvest Festival in Downtown Prosser. Make sure you save your pennies, for there are bound to be some fabulous mementos by which to remember your vacation.
When it comes to security, the Great Prosser Balloon Rally doesn’t leave anything to chance. There will be both event security and airport security on hand to make sure people aren’t bringing flammable products, weapons, drones, or pets. You may approach security officers at any time if you have any questions. For unrelated security concerns, you can pay a visit to the nearest police station within a mile of the airport.
At the end of September, temperatures fluctuate between a chilly 47 degrees Fahrenheit and 78 degrees. Fall has well and truly arrived in Prosser. While you’re unlikely to experience adverse weather conditions or even rainfall, it’s worth keeping in mind that you will need extra blankets. Remember to keep your heating units in tip-top shape.
If all the ballooning excitement has you feeling a little under the weather, or an accident has caught you off guard, then you’re well catered to in Prosser. There is a hospital under two miles from the airport, as well as a pharmacy for medical supplies within 1.5 miles. It may also help to carry a first aid kit in your RV for any smaller injuries you can tend to yourself.