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Posted on: April 17, 2018

Balloon Festival: Parking, Road Closures, Regulations & Helpful Hints

Freedom Balloon Fest

Road Closures and No Thru Traffic Designation Locations


Road Closure and No Thru Traffic Designation: 

  • Fleming Loop Road from NC-42 (W. Academy Street) to Parker's Ridge Drive

No Parking Designations on Streets in the Following Neighborhoods (No Curb Side Parking): 

  • Spring Fields Subdivision
  • Fleming Fields Subdivision
  • Parker's Ridge

No Parking Designations at the Following Locations: 

  • Fleming Loop Road from NC-42 (W. Academy Street) to NC-42 (W. Academy Street)
  • SE Judd Parkway from NC-42 (W. Academy Street) to Holland Road
  • NC-42 (W. Academy Street) from N. Main Street To S. Fuquay Avenue
  • NC 42 (W. Academy Street) at S. Main Street to Piney Grove Wilbon Road
  • Phelps West Road from NC-42 (W. Academy Street) to Norfolk Southern Rail Track
  • Coley Farm Road from NC-42 (W. Academy Street) to Norfolk Southern Rail Track

***Parking enforcement will occur to including towing of vehicles at the owner's expense at these locations as well as any other vehicles that are in violation of state and local laws that impact the flow of traffic.***

Changes in Parking in Downtown Fuquay for the Balloon Festival

A TEMPORARY WAIVER of the Town of Fuquay-Varina Code of Ordinances, Time Specific Parking Lots and Parking Spaces ordinances, excluding timed loading zones and excluding the municipal lot located at S. Main St. and Raleigh St., during the festival from May 25-28, 2018 was approved by the Board of Commissioners. Law enforcement will not be enforcing 2 hour parking during the festival with the exception of the Municipal Raleigh Street parking lot. The purpose of excluding the Raleigh Street lot is to allow for one "turnover" lot dedicated for short term downtown customers, while the majority of public parking in the downtown will be available for visitors to park while attending the festival and/or visiting businesses and points of interest in the area.

Parking Vehicles on Private Property during the Balloon Festival in the Town of Fuquay-Varina?

A TEMPORARY WAIVER of the Land Development Ordinance, Article N, Parking, Loading & Lighting Design Standards, Section 9-1653 Off Street Parking Standards, Subsection (e) Residential Use of Off-Street Parking: (2) Parking Outside the Vehicle Surface Area and (3) Parking in Front Yard Prohibited from May 25-28, 2018 was approved by the Board of Commissioners.

  • This waiver is to allow private property owners within the Town of Fuquay-Varina the allowance to legally park vehicles in the front yard or side yard of a dwelling outside of a designated driveway or vehicular surface treatment area during the four day festival event. If anyone wishes to park vehicles on their PRIVATE PROPERTY, please contact Captain Bob Adams with the Fuquay-Varina Police Department to receive information on what to do and what not to do related to the private parking process and state/local laws as we prepare for the event. To contact Captain Adams call 919-552-1423 or email radams@fuquay-varina.org.

Places to Park

For safety reasons, there is no parking at on Fleming Loop Park. There are a variety of public and private parking lots (including handicap accessible options) within a short distance from the entrance on Judd Parkway. All public parking is handicap accessible and there are paved sidewalks and crosswalks with curb cuts to the Main Entry to Fleming Loop Park on Judd Parkway. Plan for distances from parking to the event site similar to going to other major events, such as large concerts, football games, sporting events or the state fair, where even the closest parking can be a 1/2 mile from the main entrance. For some out of town guests, it may be easier to stay at your hotel or friends house and take a ride hailing service.

All parking is operated independently at public and private lots near the festival grounds. Festival organizers will offer the a list of parking lots only for informational purposes and attendees seeking convenient parking for their individual needs. Freedom Balloon Fest receives no funding from parking.


Find Public Parking Lots and Answers to FAQ

Amplified Sound During the Balloon Festival

The Board of Commissioners approved a waiver of the Nuisance Ordinance until 10 p.m. for the Balloon Festival Special Event at Fleming Loop Park May 25-27, 2018. This waiver is specific to the Freedom Balloon Festival organizers for amplified sound including authorized entertainment as well as announcements.

Posting Signs on Public Property

If you are planning on advertising parking for your private lot during the balloon festival in the Town Limits, be aware of this code. You cannot post signs on public property i.e. right of way.

8-7009 - Signs or posters on poles, etc. It shall be unlawful for any person to post, place, nail or otherwise place any sign or poster, advertisement on any pole, tree or sign located on any public property, no shall any such sign or poster be placed on any Town owned property nor within 50 feet of any polls designated as place of election.

Not Permitted at Festival at Fleming Loop Park

  • Drones within one mile of the festival
  • Weapons
  • Smoking
  • Coolers
  • Tents
  • Alcohol - except as purchased within designated areas in park
  • Pets/Animals with the exception of authorized Service Animals:

Be aware that animals/pets are not allowed at the festival

Leave them at home. Do not attempt to bring them in the park as we will advise you that you may not bring the animals into the park. This means dogs, cats, snakes, ferrets, monkeys, lizards, pigs, etc. No animals/pets unless an authorized service animal.

It is in violation of Town Code, 8-11004 subsection (a) which states, "The owner or possessor of an animal is prohibited from bringing an animal into any Town owned or maintained buildings, the boundaries of a Town sponsored event, and/or an event which utilizes Town owned property or public rights of way. This does not include authorized service animals.

Items you may want to bring to the Freedom Balloon Festival

  • Folding chairs
  • Flashlights
  • Blankets
  • Bug spray
  • Sunscreen
  • Comfortable walking shoes

Other Helpful Hints

  • Expect traffic delays
  • Park off site
  • Expect a lot of walking
  • Charge your phones.  There are no on-site charging stations.
  • Plan your day - avoid leaving at peak times to avoid crowds and traffic delays; we observe the highest number of visitors leaving immediately after the Balloon Glow event between 8 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
  • Use designated crosswalks and sidewalks; do not walk in traffic/on roadways
  • Do not walk or park on Railroad Tracks

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the Town allow golf carts or ATVs on Town/public streets/roads?  Answer: No.
Golf carts are not permitted on public streets/roads within the Town of Fuquay-Varina.

If you are a private group parking cars and are offering shuttles by golf carts or ATVs to the Balloon Festival, you may not operate a golf cart or ATV on any public roads, streets or sidewalks. You may only shuttle individuals on private property.


Other FAQ's

Schedule of Events

Last year, more than 100,000 people attended the four-day event. 

Please note:  Hot air balloons fly in the morning or in late afternoon/early evening when the weather is most suitable for flying because the air is the most stable.  During the middle of the day, rising pockets of hot air prevent flying, particularly in warmer weather.

The festival will feature competitive balloon flights, tethered balloon rides, evening glows and a myriad of activities planned from sunrise to sundown.  Hot air balloons will only fly in the morning and late afternoon/early evenings but there will be plenty to see and do.  Expect a great weekend with lots of activity, entertainment and food. The Chamber will host a Merchants, Arts & Craft Village. 

Plan your festival experience by visiting www.freedomballoonfest.com.  Make sure to download the Project Uplift USA App to ensure up-to-the-minute information.  Balloon flights are very dependent on the weather.


The Freedom Balloon Fest is a community service event produced by Project Uplift USA, Inc., a non-profit dedicated to veterans and military families. Funds raised will support local military veterans’ organizations. The Town of Fuquay-Varina is the host city.



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