Chateau d’Oex is famous for it’s spectacular annual hot air balloon festival and this year it is celebrating its 35th birthday. It is definitely worth a trip out of town to go and visit. It’s on all week, finishing next Sunday 3rd February. As well as the usual colour and excitement of this famous “balloon week”, Saturday 2nd February will be particularly notable as they will be staging a unique show called “Night Glow”.
The evening will start at 6.45pm and the theme very aptly, will be “Happy Birthday”. It promises to be an amazing evening with 300 performers and extras taking part, amongst them 20 complete balloon crews, the Swiss Ski School, skydivers, fireworks experts, sound engineers and many volunteers. The local atmospheric conditions play a crucial role in influencing the positioning of the balloons and the requirement for precision timing. The fireworks will be set to music, there will be a torch-lit ski descent and paragliders will take to the skies – all this against a backdrop of illuminated balloons.There’s a complete programme of entertainment organised for every day this week available to download from the website and even the opportunity to take a ride in a helicopter with Air Glaciers – simply book on the spot. Rides cost CHF 60 for adults and CHF 40 for children.
Entry to the Chateau-d’Oex Balloon Festival is free during the week. At the weekend it is CHF 10 for adults and under 14’s are free. Included in the cost is the parking, a visit to the “Espace Ballon” museum and a visit to Etivaz’s cheese cellar at 10am or 3pm.
Enjoy the wonderful sights and sounds and do take your camera! For more information.
Photos: © Chateau-d’Oex Tourisme, Julie L and Fabrice Wagner