Up, Up and Away
For many attendees, the highlight of the weekend is catching a balloon ride. The cooler winter temperatures make it an ideal time to take to the skies and see Arizona from an entirely new perspective. You’ll get a bird’s-eye view of the desert’s breathtaking palette. Both festival flights and tether rides will be offered by Aerogelic Ballooning. While the tether rides can be purchased at the festival itself for $25 per person, you must book a full flight ahead of time with Aerogelic Ballooning. Prices will vary.
If you’d rather keep your feet on the ground, there are other ways to enjoy the majesty of the balloons. Starting at 7:35AM on Saturday and Sunday mornings, the grassy field at Goodyear Ballpark will erupt in an explosion of color, as teams gear up for the exciting hot air balloon races. The balloons unfurl like a garden of growing flowers, then take off for the hour-long Hare & Hound Race across the skies. Hare and hound races are characteristic of western states where there is copious terrain and the land is wide-open. Racers gather en masse at the starting line and compete through a series of checkpoints to typically navigate a natural terrain course over forty to one hundred twenty miles.
Let’s Go Fly a Kite!
Up to the highest heights is where you want to look to see the 2nd Annual Desert Winds Kite Festival. Stunt kites will loop through the air along with enormous show kites from My Wind Stuff and Premier Kites and Designs. Be sure to arrive at the festival by 10AM Saturday and Sunday to catch the candy cannons and participate in the paper rocket making and launching. There are even more thrills on tap with the parachute ground racing event. Make the event extra special and take a piece of the excitement home with you! Kites of all types and skill levels will be available for purchase. Kite events will end at 4PM on Saturday and 2PM on Sunday.
Appetite for Fun…and Food…and Shopping
With all this fun, attendees to the Arizona Balloon Classic are sure to work up an appetite. There is no shortage of choices for good food on hand to satisfy the whole family and all set to a soundtrack of great live music. Along with a beer garden, the owners of Piggly’s BBQ and Piggly’s Seafood will have a number of stations throughout the park. Retail vendors will be open during festival hours as well. Pick up a unique gift to commemorate your visit. The kids will love the Family Fun Zone, offering a variety of games and activities to keep the little ones entertained between balloon events.
Set Your Spirit Aglow
Perhaps the most popular event of the Classic takes place on Friday and Saturday evenings. Gather the family and spread out your blankets to watch a carefully orchestrated ballet of color and sound. Balloons will glow in rhythm to music that spills across the field. Pilot Parades will kick off the festivities on both nights, and special for Saturday night only, a fireworks display will arc over the tethered balloons.
So, if you’re a “balloon-atic” for a good time, visit the 11th Annual Arizona Balloon Classic. An easy day trip from Kingman and Zuni Village RV Park, it’s a colorful celebration of light and color that’s sure to make you feel uplifted…and that’s no hot air.