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Omaha Magazine

Balloon and Wine Festival Lifts More than Spirits

Jul 30, 2018 12:58PM ● By Mid-America Expositions Inc.
Watch out for the 12th Annual Nebraska Balloon & Wine Festival on Aug. 10-11 at the festival's new homeLeo Royal Memorial Park. The festival will host hot air balloons, helicopters, paragliders, skydivers, food, wine, beer, musical entertainment, and more.

Nebraska Balloon & Wine Festival hours run from 5-11 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 10, and 3-11 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 11. The venue (Leo Royal Memorial Park) is located on 204th Street just south of Cornhusker Road.

Tickets include five tastes of wine or your choice of beers ($15 per person in advance, $19 per person day of show). A souvenir wine glass is included while supplies last.

The festival is a showcase for tasting great wines. The Local Wine Showcase will include experts and wines from vineyards and wineries including Soaring Wings, James Arthur, Deer Springs, Glacial Till, Miletta Vista, SchillingBridge, Whiskey Run Creek, Niobrara Valley, Little Swan Lake, Feather River, Nissen, and Prairie Creek, as well as this year's sponsoring winery, Dark Horse. The festival also offers the opportunity to taste craft beers at the Miller Lite Beer Garden.

Festival attendees can enjoy performances by local bands. High Heel will perform on Friday. This Omaha band covers a wide variety of genres, including classic rock, country, and pop. On Saturday, the opening entertainment is Front Ro, followed by The Personics.

At the Food and Wine Experience, people can taste a vast selection of wine paired with hors d’oeuvres and other foods prepared by area chefs at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. each evening. 

Festival Director Mike Mancuso says, “Whether you are a wine connoisseur, wine lover, or simply interested in trying something new, the Food and Wine Experience will offer a special interaction with wine tastings by chefs from Carrabba's Italian Grill on Friday, Aug. 10, and from 801 Grill on Saturday, Aug. 11.”

The event offers plenty of opportunities to eat, listen to live entertainment, and even shop for one-of-a-kind arts and crafts and unique items in the Marketplace Village. For those with kids, don't forget to check out the Family Fare KidZone.

New this year, the festival will feature the RE/MAX Skydiving Team. Area Paragliders will return to entertain crowds at the 2018 festival both Friday and Saturday evening.

One of the most popular activities is watching the hot air balloons, which launch at 7 p.m. nightly, and will glow when illuminated at 9 p.m. (weather permitting). Organizer Mark Enholm is excited to announce that members of the Nebraska Balloon Club will bring balloons from Omaha, and other hot air balloons will be featured from around the Midwest. 

This event offers balloon and helicopter rides. Call 402-346-8003 for reservations/availability of hot air balloon rides and Husker Helicopter Excursions.

To order tickets and group sales, call 402-346-8003 or visit Local Stubs is Omaha Magazine’s ticketing hub.

For more information about the Balloon and Wine Festival, visit

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