Dandridge, TN – At long last, the Lakeside of the Smokies Balloon Fest is excited to announce its return. “We canceled our 2020 festival due to the economic impact and health related concerns of hosting the event,” said festival director Sarah Mills. “But I’m thrilled to announce we plan to hold the festival this year.”

The LOTS Balloon Fest will be held October 23 – 24th, 2021 at a new location – 295 W. Dumplin Valley Rd., Dandridge, TN. There are many moving pieces to hosting a balloon festival in the midst of the nation’s recovery from a pandemic, but Mills believes it can be done. “We’re lucky that the event will be held outside, on a giant piece of property,” she says. “And we still plan to implement health precautions to keep our attendees, pilots, vendors, and volunteers safe.” Information about their COVID19 protocols can be found on their website.

“I think our community needs this,” reflects Mills. “I haven’t met a single person who hasn’t had struggles in 2020.” Mills believes that something as simple as hot air balloons can bring hope and inspiration after a year of trials. “Something I’m always reminded of when I talk to people about this event, is the fact that hot air balloons are universally loved,” she says. “It doesn’t matter your background, political beliefs, city of origin, or taste…you’re going to like watching a hot air balloon fly.” Set in scenic Jefferson County, the LOTS Balloon Fest is timed perfectly with the brilliance of the changing Smoky Mountain fall leaves. Mills believes that an event like the Lakeside of the Smokies Balloon Fest is way of bringing the community together.

Attendees will enjoy food trucks, a kids fair, balloon glow, live music performed by local artist, local artisans, a wine and beer garden, and beautiful mountain views. Tickets are sold per person, and parking is free. Mills reports that the majority of people who attend the balloon festival come to see the balloon display. But, many come to ride in hot air balloons as well. Regular tickets go on sale April 15, 2021. Balloon rides go on sale June 1, 2021. Untethered rides can be purchased ahead of time and tethered rides may be purchased on-site at the festival. More information can be found on their website: www.lotsballoonfest.com