About 30 balloon teams are expected to take part in the Arizona Balloon Classic at the 4th annual event in 2015. Over the three day festival, thousands people will enjoy early evening balloon glows, morning balloon launches and landings, plus The Hare and Hound, a traditional hot air ballooning race. As one might expect, there will more than that going on. Music, food, arts and crafts, a family fun zone, and fireworks.
For 2015 the Arizona Balloon Classic moves from the East Valley to a new location, all the way on the other side of town in Northwest Phoenix.
When is the Arizona Balloon Classic?
Friday, January 23, 2015 from 7 a.m., to 8 p.m.
Saturday, January 24, 2015 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Sunday, January 25, 2015 - from 7 a.m. to noon
Where will it be held?
Arizona Balloon Classic activities will take place at the West Valleyâs Fear Farm Sports Complex â 2209 N. 99th Ave. (I-10 West & Loop 101) in Phoenix.
How much does it cost to get in?
Single tickets per session: $10 in advance, $15 at the gate
Active military with ID and children 12 and under are admitted free
Parking is $5 per vehicle
What do you mean, 4th annual? Haven't there been balloon festivals in Phoenix for many years?
Yes, there have been several. In the past few decades there have been large-scale balloon festivals in West Phoenix and North Scottsdale, Goodyear, Chandler and Gilbert.Here is a photo gallery of those events. This is the 4th annual event for this organizer; the first year it was held in Chandler, then it moved to Gilbert for two years.
What will happen at the Arizona Balloon Classic?
Hare & Hound Races
On Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings between 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. colorful hot air balloons will participate in the Hare & Hound Races. The hare balloon places a target on the ground where it landed. The hound balloons fly toward that target and toss small bean bag like ID. Whoever hits the center or comes closest to the center wins. Spectators are encouraged to walk on the fields, watch the balloons inflate, and take lots of photos.
On Saturday & Sunday the Family Fun Zone and Marketplace will open at 7 a.m.
Friday and Saturday afternoons there will be a mass ascension of hot air balloons
Desert Glows will take place on both Friday and Saturday evenings from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The Desert Glows are a favorite of both amateur and professional photographers.
Tethered Hot Air Balloons Rides
On Friday and Saturday evenings people may arrange for a short ride in a balloon that doesn't go up very high, since it is tethered to the ground. There is an additional charge for this activity. It's a great opportunity to see what it feels like to ride in a hot air balloon, and for your friends on the ground to get some great photos of you!
A family-friendly movie ("Up") will be shown on Friday evening.
On Saturday enjoy the fireworks after dark, about 7:30 p.m.
Live musical entertainment, a Family Fun area with kidâs activities, car show, exhibits, sampling, and other attractions. Some activities have an additional charge. Looking for holiday gifts? Retail shopping vendors will be onsite. Of course, food vendors will be there, too.
Can I ride in a balloon at the Arizona Balloon Classic?
Yes, you'll be able to arrange either a hot air balloon ride or a tethered ride in advance of the event. You'll arrange for and pay for that directly with the event's official vendor for those rides.
What else do I need to know?
Bring the camera, chairs, little red wagons to haul round the kids, but not the dog and no outside food. Re-entry is not permitted. Please read my tips for attending on the next page.
What if I have more questions?
Visit the Arizona Balloon Classic online.
Next Page >> Ten Things To Know Before You Go
All dates, times, prices and offerings are subject to change without notice.