Balloons + Pilots

The Lakeside of the Smokies Balloon Fest brings in 15-18 balloon pilots from all around the world!

Balloon Meister

What’s a balloon meister, you ask?

The Balloon Meister is in charge of and coordinates all of the Balloon Activity at a Balloon Festival. A Balloon Meister also makes sure that all Balloon Pilots meet all FAA requirements. You need to be an FAA certified pilot and then you can branch off to your specific style of aircraft. Balloon Meisters must monitor and follow all weather activity, including wind. Weather plays a primary role in the launching of balloons and lots of effort and work goes into each launch at a festival. While everyone is out on the field getting ready to enjoy some balloon launches, the Balloon Meister is verifying the safety of everyone and monitors all activity through the launches.

Our Balloon Meister

Scott Griswold feat. “Honor” – Above All Balloon Rides

“The Griswold family has been in the ballooning business for 40 years. Since I was born, I have grown up around hot air balloons. Whether it is crewing, chasing, piloting, or just spectating, I have witnessed many amazing aspects and the growth of the sport. My father, Jim Griswold, was a major influence and contributor to hot air ballooning in the Central NY area. He was the co-founder of the well-known Jamesville Balloon Festival and he was responsible for training most of today’s local hot air balloon pilots.”


Get in Touch

There are so many ways to become involved with the festival. Sign up to be a volunteer, learn about our sponsorship opportunities, or donate to the festival.

295 W. Dumplin Valley Rd
Dandridge, TN 37725