About 25 balloon teams are expected to take part in the Arizona Balloon Classic at the 3rd annual event in 2013. The Gilbert Civic Center is the spot for the wide open space. 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.
When is the Arizona Balloon Classic?
Friday, December 13, 2013 - from 3:30 p.m., to 9 p.m. Friday consists of one evening session.
Saturday, December 14, 2013 - from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday consists of two sessions: the a.m. session ends at 4 p.m. and the evening session starts at 5 p.m.
Sunday, December 15, 2013 - from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Sunday consists of one morning session.
Where will The Arizona Balloon Classic be held?
Arizona Balloon Classic activities will take place at the Gilbert Civic Center, 90 E. Civic Center Dr. in Gilbert.
How much does it cost to get in to the Arizona Balloon Classic?
Single tickets per session: $10 at the gate
Single day tickets per session for seniors, veterans, groups of 10 or more: $7 at the gate
Children 11 years old and younger are admitted free
Active military are admitted free with ID.
Parking is free!
What do you mean, 3rd 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. Here is a photo gallery of those events. This is the 3rd annual event for this organizer; the first year it was held in Chandler, then it moved to Gilbert.
What will happen at the Arizona Balloon Classic?
Hare & Hound Races
On Saturday and Sunday mornings between 8 and 8:30 a.m. about 25 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 6:30 a.m.
Evening Glow will take place on both Friday and Saturday evenings from 5:45 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tethered hot air balloons rides starting at 5 p.m. The Balloon Glows are a favorite of both amateur and professional photographers.
Tethered Hot Air Balloons Rides
On Friday evening as well as on both Saturday and Sunday mornings people may arrange for a short ride in a balloon that doesn't go up very high, since it is tethered to the ground. 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!
On Saturday enjoy the fireworks that will begin at about 8:45 p.m.
There will be a Family Fun area with kid’s activities, 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, but not the dog. 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.