Getting a camp site at the Temecula Balloon and Wine Festival is no easy task, but we lucked out for our first time out and landed the top spots on the grass surrounded by shade trees. The spaces did not have all the hook ups just water, but somehow we managed. We rolled in Thursday evening and were ready to relax and enjoy our long weekend with some good food, friends, and of course wine.
Temecula Balloon & Wine Fest
Our spaces came with two passes for the event. So it was a bit of a sticker shock when our daughter joined us for Friday evening and it was a $25.00 entry fee. Saturday was $30.00 and military only get discounts on Sunday.(gate prices) Which I think is crappy, and that’s being nice about it. Campers, if you needed internet access, that will cost you $24.95 per day, after you paid $275.00 plus dollars for a spot that is NOT full hook ups (water only) and there is NO phone service here. For those that plan on attending next year. If you don’t camp, plan on leaving the are early or tailgate, because we watched the line of traffic sit and go no where until almost midnight. There is only one way in, and one way out.
We had just been to the Balloon Fest in Cave Creek Arizona the week before. The entry fee was $10.00. And it was the first time any of us had been and was a last – minute decision to go. It was a real treat! (So Yes, I am going to compare these two events.)
Cave Creek Arizona Balloon Fest
Cave Creek had plenty of things for the kids to do. They had at least three jumpers, a mongo giant slide, and a spin til you puke ride and lots of grassy hills to play on. The kid activities were a few bucks each. There was lots of food. Drink tickets were quick to get and a drink was about $8.00. The problem was you got $20.00 in tickets then had left over tickets, for which you could not buy anything. So we gave them away on our way out the gate. The event was so fun, we really did get our money’s worth, then some. If you want to go next year check it out here
The cool thing was, of course the balloons. For a little town, Cave Creek did it right. There had to be 15 balloons or more for the evenings glow and they were beautiful. There was a butterfly and a happy face, A bumble bear that was adorable. You could walk right under them, a tunnel of hot air balloons and walk up to the basket and talk to the pilot. It was pretty dang amazing and I have not had so much fun in years, I felt like a little kid with a margarita! What a score!
Sadly, The Temecula Balloon and Wine fest had only five balloons for the balloon glow. And looking at advertising for Toyota, Pechanga, and Remax, was not really thrilling, it was a huge let down. We thought that maybe they would bring the ‘A’ game for Saturday Night. alas… they did not.
Temecula had a ton of vendors and the venue itself was nice. I liked the layout of the with all the trees, it was like a little village. We really did not hang around too long. The drink tickets were crazy expensive, and the line to get tickets was out of control. Sadly there were only 18 wineries. And of those, only 10 were local. A pretty weak showing for an area that boast 50 wineries.
The best part of the weekend, was waking up Saturday morning and watching the balloons float over the top of us and land out in that nice little grassy area, just feet from our camp site. Me with my coffee in one hand and a camera in the other managed to get some great photos.
Saturday Morning Balloons
That evening we played some Boccie Ball, on our Plastic, Pink Flamingo covered grass, threw some steaks on the grill as our friends gathered for the evening. Our friend Jason the Manager from Lorimar Vineyards shared some lovely wine with us, ( Like we didn’t already have a case of Lorimar in the trailer.) And we had a great time.
Will we go again…? Sure. But now we have the Albuquerque, New Mexico and Boise, Idaho Balloon Fest in our sites, and now that we are residents of Scottsdale. Cave Creek will always be on the short list.