Getting to and from Balloon Fiesta Park during large events can be a headache for drivers coming from different parts of the city. Some Uber and Lyft drivers will even cancel requests for trips to the park despite the higher pay during surges. The city has recognized the problem and continues to work on alleviating traffic congestion by turning two-way streets into one-way lanes, providing more traffic cops to the area, and adding rideshare pickup and drop-off locations at the park.
During this year’s Freedom Fourth, the city is offering multiple ways for revelers to get to and from Balloon Fiesta Park; however, the Rail Runner is not one of those options as it does not operate during Independence Day. The free Fourth of July event runs 3-10 p.m. on Monday, ending with one of the largest fireworks displays in the state.
The city recommends taking the North Diversion Channel Trail to the northeast side of the Balloon Museum, where a free bike valet will be provided by the Esperanza Bicycle Education Center. Look for the big yellow valet signs before storing the bike and heading on foot to the event.
Drivers can now pre-pay for parking by visiting premiumparking.com/P4702. Upon arrival, drivers must show confirmation of payment on their mobile device and will then be directed to a parking spot. If not pre-paying, the $10 fee must be paid in cash to one of the parking attendants at the park. Balloon Fiesta Park can be accessed off the southbound Frontage Road to Balloon Fiesta Parkway, San Mateo or Balloon Drive.
Take a taxi, Uber, Lyft or other rideshare vehicle to the event and get dropped off at the San Carlos Cemetery, which is east of Alameda Park Drive. From there, passengers can take a free shuttle to the event area. Parking is not available in the rideshare pickup and drop-off location. Passengers can use the Uber code Liberty22 to get a $10 discount on rides from noon July 1 to 3 a.m. July 5. The discount is being offered to the first 1,000 rides and does not cover tips.
Park & Ride
Free bus rides from Cottonwood and Coronado malls will run from 3-7:30 p.m. the day of the event. Walk, bike or drive to the mall and then hop on a bus for convenient transportation to Freedom Fourth. Return service to the two mall locations will begin after the fireworks show, with the last bus leaving at 11 p.m. Tents and canopies are not allowed on Park & Ride busses.