Acadiana's new hot air balloon festival is happening this weekend at Pelican Park in Carencro.

Glow in the Cro will feature live music, carnival rides, food trucks and, of course, hot air balloons.

"We're looking forward to a really good flying weekend," said Pat Harwell, the Shreveport balloonist behind the inaugural event. "It should be a great time for the entire family."

The festival kicks off Friday afternoon and continues through Sunday morning. 

The event will feature about 20 hot air balloons, which will glow along the park's skyline at sunset on Friday and Saturday. Tethered and full flight hot air balloon rides will be available to the public.

Tethered rides will take place throughout the festival Friday and Saturday. The balloon reaches about 30-40 feet during the three- to five-minute ride. The cost is $20 per adult and $15 per child 12 and younger.

Full flights will take place at sunrise Saturday and Sunday. The balloon trip will take participants on a one- to two-hour flight, depending on wind conditions. Full flight rides cost $250 per person and require preregistration at

Harwell compares flying in a hot air balloon to sitting on an air mattress in a swimming pool.

"Everything else underneath you moves, and you are suspended," Harwell said. "I can't get enough of it. I can't get enough flying."

Entry into the festival is $5 per person and is free for children 5 and younger. Parking is free.

The festival happens from 4 to 10:30 p.m. Friday and continues from 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Saturday at Pelican Park, which is located at 110 Softball Drive in Carencro.

Friday's entertainment lineup will include Alligator Blue and Clay Cormier and the Highway Boys. Saturday's lineup includes Jamie Bergeron and the Kickin' Cajuns, Gregg Martinez and the Delta Kings and Dustin Sonnier and the Wanted.

The event will also include carnival rides and food trucks.

"We're ready to provide a great time for everybody at Glow in the Cro," said Eric White, marketing manager for the event. "And we're excited to showcase one of the best kept secrets in Acadiana, Carencro's Pelican Park."

Acadiana Business Today: AT&T rebuffs union claims about negotiations, says contingency plans in place during strike; Seventeen business leaders chosen for One Acadiana's Acadiana CEO Roundtable

Email Megan Wyatt at