Visit Greater Palm Springs Honors Cathedral City Hot Air Balloon Festival with Palm Award for Visitor Experience

Cathedral City Hot Air Balloon Festival Feted

Balloon Festival Award

INDIAN WELLS —Visit Greater Palm Springs honored the Cathedral City Hot Air Balloon Festival with the Palm Award for Visitor Experience on Monday, Oct. 30 at the Champions of Hospitality Awards Gala at the Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa, Indian Wells, Ryan Hunt, Communications & Events Manager announced Wednesday.

Jennifer Torricelli, an employee at Café One Eleven at Agua Caliente Casino Cathedral City, also received a Hospitality Champion Award at this year’s event.

The Champions of Hospitality Awards Gala is a celebration of the individuals and organizations that embody the resilient and innovative spirit of our local hospitality industry. You can find a complete list of 2023 winners here on the Visit Greater Palm Springs website.

All proceeds from the event directly support the Greater Palm Springs Tourism Foundation, providing college scholarships to local students and career-advancing training and certificate programs for our hospitality workforce.

Agua Caliente Casinos, the award-winning premier destination for entertainment in the Coachella Valley, is the title sponsor for the 9th Annual Cathedral City International Hot Air Balloon Festival & Food Truck Fiesta, taking place on Friday, Nov. 17-Sunday, Nov. 19. You can read more about this year’s event on the City’s website, according to Hunt.

Cathedral City Hot Air Balloon Festival nomination description:

“The City of Cathedral City is proud to highlight the success of the annual Cathedral City Hot Air Balloon Festival, presented by Agua Caliente Casinos. The festival has grown over its short time span from attracting several thousand attendees locally from its inception in 2015 to bringing in more than 25,000 attendees regionally. Most attendees are from outside of Cathedral City and the Coachella Valley as this event has generated a tremendous interest from the California coast and beyond.

In 2023, the Cathedral City International Hot Air Balloon Festival will celebrate its ninth Anniversary bringing a kaleidoscope of color, sound, art, and enjoyment as the hot air balloons launch and fill the Coachella Valley sky with their majestic presence. It is an opportunity for families to cherish shared memories that will last a lifetime as they experience the beauty of these airships sailing above our desert oasis. The festival welcomes balloon pilots and their crew from across the United States and around the world. It has enjoyed balloons coming from England, Canada, and Thailand.

The 2022 event saw record attendance (8,000 guests) for the Friday night Food Truck Fiesta inside the Cathedral City Amphitheater. Friday’s attendance was also boosted by a custom-built drone light show near Agua Caliente Casinos which could be viewed from the Festival Lawn and the top level of the parking structure next to the amphitheater.

All morning balloon flights from Thursday to Sunday were sold out. These launched from Cathedral City’s Century Park, the Agua Caliente Casino property in Rancho Mirage, and the Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa in Rancho Mirage. The weather remained beautiful during the morning hours of the Cathedral City Hot Air Balloon Festival. Pilots came from all around the world for this year’s event.

On Sunday morning, the annual Pancake Breakfast and Special Shapes Sunday at Big League Dreams was a huge hit with balloons inflated on three ball fields. The GPS Tourism Grant allowed for the expansion of special shape hot air balloons coming to the festival, elevating the event to new heights. Special shape balloons are entertainment balloons shaped to a favorite character or pop culture icon. Sunday offered tethered balloon rides and the perfect photos with the kids as everyone was enjoying the beauty of the balloons rising nearly seven stories high.

Hunt said, “The City of Cathedral City looks forward to building on the momentum of this year’s festival as we get closer to the 10th anniversary event.”

Image Sources

  • Balloon Festival Award: Cathedral City