top of page

National Aviation Day balloon glow celebration at Huffman Prairie

Celebrate National Aviation Day on, August 19, 2023

Dayton, OH - Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park invites you to celebrate National Aviation Day on Saturday, August 19, 2023, with a hot air balloon glow at sunset! This special event will begin at Huffman Prairie Flying Field starting at 6:30 p.m., with the glow happening from dusk until 9:30 p.m. Rangers from the National Park will take guests on guided tours to share the story of early flight at the prairie. There will be booths set up with activities and information on park sites and junior ranger programs - fun for the whole family. As dusk approaches, balloonists Al Nels, Andrew Nels, and Mark Frazier will light up the prairie with the glow of their three hot air balloons. Kids of all ages can get up close to the balloons and learn about how they fly and how to become a balloon pilot.

National Aviation Day, a yearly celebration of aviation achievements in the US, was first declared on the birthday of Orville Wright in 1939 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. It has been celebrated around the country with parades and airshows. Our event will be held on Wright-Patterson Air Force base at Huffman Prairie Flying Field, the 84-acre prairie where Orville and Wilbur Wright developed a fully controllable flying machine, trained themselves to be pilots and opened a flight school.

This free, family-friendly event will be held on Saturday, August 19th from 6:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. at the prairie located at Gate 16A on State Route 444; entrance is at Twin Base Golf Club. Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets, snacks or a picnic, and beverages in plastic or aluminum containers. The event is being held at a vibrant and active prairie, so please wear outdoor clothes, and bring sunblock, plenty of water, and insect repellent. Please do not bring alcohol, firearms, weapons of any kind, glass containers, pets, or tents. Forecasts are currently showing favorable weather on 8/19, but this event is weather dependent and could be cancelled if inclement weather occurs.

Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park preserves and interprets the history and legacies of the Wright Brothers and Paul Laurence Dunbar. Learn more about these extraordinary men and the story of the park when you explore or find us on social media at, and @DaytonAviationNHP on Instagram.


The National Park Service cares for special places saved by the American people so that all may experience our heritage.

Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park

16 S. Williams St. Dayton, OH 45402 937-225-7705


The Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park includes Sites #1, #2, and #3 on the Aviation Trail


bottom of page