Hot Air Balloon Tethered Rides and Events

Tethered rides almost always are conducted at special event programs. If you simply would like to experience the excitement of a five-minute tethered ride, the most common place you may find a tethered balloon would be at a nearby hot air balloon festival. However, Liberty Balloon Company also contracts equipment and services to provide tethers throughout the year for various events, including corporate promotions, at school assembly programs, media events, Bar-Mitzvah and Bat-Mitzvah celebrations, graduations, weddings, member appreciation events, and other private parties, including group tours.

Based just outside Rochester, in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, Liberty Balloon Company’s primary flying area is located between Niagara Falls and New York City.  We are a mobile business however, and will travel for events most anywhere in the world.

On a morning or evening when wind and weather cooperate, a tethered hot air balloon basket will typically rise to a height of about 50 to 70 feet, with the balloon envelope itself floating majestically above that.  Because of the size of the balloon envelope (about 7 stories tall), when you’re watching from the ground the ride may not look very high. But when you’re in the basket, you’ll be impressed by how high it feels!

The ride itself lasts approximately 5 minutes, and each of our balloons can carry 3 or 4 passengers besides the pilot. This means that in a 2-hour period, we may be able to give nearly 100 people rides, per balloon–assuming the wind and weather cooperate!

Our Expertise

Carroll - Navy Days

Since the wind and weather requirements for a successful tether are even more stringent than for a normal flight, and because of the nature of the work, many balloonists choose not to make tethering part of their ride offerings. Liberty Balloon Company, however, specializes in tethers and special event programs. Since 1991 we have managed the hot air balloon program for Re/Max of New York, for which a majority of scheduled events involve some variation of a tethered balloon.

Additionally, we have been giving balloon assembly programs at elementary schools for over 20 years. Most often, these programs include a tethered hot air balloon in their program. Our tethering expertise is hard to match!

Utility and Applications of a Private Tethered Hot Air Balloon

Because of our experience with corporate balloon program management, the pilots, crew and office personnel at Liberty Balloon Company have extensive experience in tethered ride operations. As a result, we are able to produce a safe, professional and exciting tether event. Some uses for a tethered hot air balloon include:

  • Graduation parties
  • Weddings
  • Major birthday parties
  • Corporate employee/customer appreciation days
  • Group Tours
  • Family Reunions
  • Sporting Events
  • Grand Openings
  • School Assembly Programs

 Utility and Applications of a Corporate Tethered Hot Air Balloon (Display your company’s banner on our balloon, or design your own balloon!)

  • Balloon Festivals
  • Run/walk fundraisers
  • School programs
  • Golf events
  • Community festivals
  • …Anything that will attract media!

Pricing Structure

To schedule a tethered hot air balloon for an event is significantly different than the process we go through for a typical balloon ride. It is a specialized process, and as such, has a specialized pricing structure. We build our pricing with the understanding that the tether’s success is completely dependent upon the cooperation of the wind and weather, elements over which neither you nor Liberty Balloon Company has any control. As a result, we break down the cost into three categories:

1) Date reservation (non-refundable)

2) Travel (Accrues if the pilot travels to your event)

3) Inflation/Completion of event (Accrues at time pilot starts balloon inflator fan)

Liberty Balloon Company operates under the assumption we will complete our obligation to the end, regardless of weather conditions. However, we will give consultation on weather, and if at any point you as the organizer of the event decide to abort–because of wind, weather, or otherwise–we will do as advised, and you will only incur the expense for those services performed: nothing more.

For more details and an exact quote, please call to discuss your event in detail!

Operational limitations

  • Timing: we only schedule for events within 2-4 hours of sunrise or sunset. A tether event during the middle of the day has a success rate of between 1 and 2 percent. When scheduled during the proper time frame, however, the probability for success is far higher!
  • Wind and Weather: In addition to “nice” weather, meaning clear of rain, we are extremely sensitive to wind. Less than 4 mph is ideal.
  • Space: there should be at least 150 feet x 150 feet of space per balloon (preferably cut grass) and should be clear of obstacles such as trees, buildings and power lines

“Weather-Proof” your Tether Event

  • Ask us about our INDOOR balloon inflations — completely insulated from weather variables
  • Educational programs, flexible around weather
  • Schedule a HORSE AND CARRIAGE ride as a backup.  Works especially well for a wedding or marriage proposal.
  • Buy in blocks:  When scheduled at the proper time — typically within 2-4 hours of sunrise or sunset — success rate of a flight is roughly 50%, and of an inflation roughly 75%.  We offer block discounts when you schedule a minimum of five tether events in one season.  This works especially well for a branding or marketing campaign.  Call us for details!


When properly managed, a tethered balloon at your event makes you stand far above the rest. It is impossible to match the excitement generated by a hot air balloon in person! When it comes to rented balloons for tether events, Liberty Balloon Company will help you manage the risk so you maximize both your budget and also your chances for the perfect tethered ride experience.

For more on how to successfully host a tethered balloon at your event, contact us today!