First off, the only good way to see this event is by using an RV. The main balloon event is the mass ascension and that happens starting just after dawn. This is very early to get up if you are staying in a hotel. The second event is the glow which happens close to dusk. Again, better to be a short shuttle bus away to your rig than try to fight the traffic to get back to your hotel.
I also recommend you stay at the on site park grounds in your RV. You can book a tour through people like Escapees, FMCA, Adventure RV tours, or just make reservations. If you do not like generator noise book into the areas with power to them. The other big advantage to staying on site is you can take the free shuttle bus. There is very heavy traffic getting to the events and the shuttle bus means you don’g have to fight the traffic.
You want to book for the entire festival as some days the balloon show does not take place. Winds are too high, it rains, and so on. For us the mass ascension the first days we the best. The last day they did not even have it as the winds were too high.
I do recommend you go to the balloon museum. It is really well put together and very interesting.
So put this event on your bucket list and go. Book early.