Cathedral City isn’t throwing any old birthday party this year.
The city’s turning 35 in style with a weekend full of sky-high celebrations during the Cathedral City 35th Anniversary and Hot Air Balloon Festival.
Nov. 18–20 marks the occasion with the return of the Hot Air Balloon Festival for three days of head-in-the-clouds fun. But delight doesn’t stop with whimsical balloon rides. If you prefer land-based activities, there will be moonlit dinners, classic car shows, and a pop-up art gallery. Add in live entertainment, a kid zone, and plenty of food truck fare, and your weekend is booked solid.
Most events will take place around the downtown Civic Center Plaza, the focal point for many of the free festivities on Saturday and Sunday. Additional events (such as the kickoff Hot Air Balloon Breakfast & Race and the Sunset Wine Dinner) are ticketed and off-site, so don’t forget to make a reservation before you revel in middle age.
Why not soar to new heights?
Get your glow on all weekend long with a full menu of celebratory fare.
Hot Air Balloon Breakfast & Race
Gates open at 6 a.m. Balloon race begins at 7 a.m. $10. Warm up over a sizzling breakfast as dozens of hot air balloons rise to race across the Coachella Valley for prizes. Big League Dreams Sports Park, 33700 Date Palm Drive, Cathedral City.
Friday Night Balloon Glow
Balloons inflate at 5 p.m. Music begins at 6 p.m. Free. Downtown Cathedral City decorates the sky with the glow of 15 hot air balloons. Things get magical as a 45-minute music set elevates the romance. Civic Center Plaza, 68700 Avenida Lalo Guerrero, Cathedral City.
Gala Dinner & Jazz Concert
6:30–9 p.m. $1,000–$1,200 for tables of eight. Dinner under the stars with jazz entertainment by Grammy-nominated Dr. Bobby Rodriguez. Civic Center Plaza.
35th Anniversary Parade
10 a.m. Free. Festive floats, cars, golf carts, and more. Parade route begins near Date Palm Drive and E. Palm Canyon Drive and ends downtown at Civic Center Plaza.
Anniversary Balloon Glow
Balloons inflate at 5 p.m. Music begins at 6 p.m. Free. Civic Center Plaza.
Taste of Jalisco
10 a.m.–10 p.m. Free. The festival’s main stage heats up with cultural offerings, mariachi music, and folklorico dancing. Civic Center Plaza.
Sunset Wine Dinner & Balloon Glow at Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort
6:30–9 p.m. $110. As the sun sets during a three-course dinner, hot air balloons illuminate the rolling greens at Westin Mission Hills resort. Live music and wine pairings included. 71333 Dinah Shore Drive, Rancho Mirage.
Celebration and Festival
Saturday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Hot air balloon rides, art shows, classic car displays, a kid zone, food trucks, and more. Civic Center Plaza.