Update 2011: A new balloon festival with different organizers will make its inaugural appearance in the Phoenix, Arizona area in November 2011. It is called the Arizona Balloon Classic.
Update 2008: As far as I know, this company is no longer producing balloon festivals in the Phoenix area.
Update 2007: This balloon festival has been moved to Casa Grande, AZ. That's about an hour drive south from downtown Phoenix.
Note: I do not have information on the 2006 Arizona Balloon Festival at this time. If the event happens, it will probably not be in Chandler.
More than 50 balloon teams are expected to take part in the Arizona Balloon Festival - Chandler in 2005. Over the three day festival, more than 25,000 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, appearances by the Arizona Sky Hawks precision parachute team, and a Saturday Fireworks Show round out the entertainment.
The Arizona Balloon Festival - Chandler is the largest single fundraiser for Sun Lakes Crown Rotary of the Southeast Valley. They plan to make donations to a host of local charities including Las Fuentes, a medical clinic in Guadalupe, St. Peter's Mission School on the Gila Indian Reservation, Chandler Community Center and New Day, a homeless shelter in Phoenix, among others.
Where will The Arizona Balloon Festival - Chandler be held?
The Arizona Balloon Festival - Chandler activities took place at Tumbleweed Park in Chandler, Arizona. That's on Germann Rd., east of Arizona Avenue.
Balloon events at the Arizona Balloon Festival - Chandler?
Morning liftoffs on Saturday and Sunday will be between 7:15 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. Evening glows on Friday and Saturday will be between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. All balloon liftoff times are approximate, and always depend upon weather conditions.
What happened at the Arizona Balloon Festival - Chandler?
Hare & Hound Races
On both Saturday and Sunday morning, about 50 colorful hot air balloons participated 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. This target has a numbering system. The balloon that accumulates the most points throughout the two day competition wins a cash prize. Spectators are encouraged to walk on the fields, watch the balloons inflate, and take lots of photos.
The Arizona Balloon Festival - Chandler Desert Glows took place on both Friday and Saturday evening, and featured more than 30 illuminated, tethered hot air balloons glowing in time to music. The Desert Glows are a favorite of both amateur and professional photographers.
The Kid's Zone at the Arizona Balloon Festival - Chandler featured a variety of interactive activities including children's entertainment, educational activities, games, face painting, clowns, and more.
A variety of popular local bands performed on the main stage throughout the Arizona Balloon Festival - Chandler. Local high school bands will competed in the Battle of the Bands. On Saturday night, the Fireworks Show lit up the Chandler sky with a Salute to Veterans.