Arizona Balloon Classic 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona

A Balloon Festival in Northwest Phoenix

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••• © Judy Hedding

About 25 balloon teams are expected to take part in the Arizona Balloon Classic at the 6th annual event in January 2017. 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, a family fun zone, and fireworks.

When is the Arizona Balloon Classic?

Friday, January 20, 2017 from 4 p.m., to 8 p.m.
Saturday, January 21, 2017 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Sunday, January 22, 2017 from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Where will it be held?

Arizona Balloon Classic activities will take place at the Fear Farm Sports Complex, 2209 N. 99th Ave. (I-10 West & Loop 101) in the West Valley.

How much does it cost to get in?

Single tickets per day: $15 at the gate; seniors $7
Active military with ID and children 12 and under are admitted free
Group tickets of 10 or more are $7 each 

Parking is $10 per vehicle

There may be an additional charge for some activities.

What do you mean, 6th 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. This is the 6th annual event for this organizer; the first year it was held in Chandler, then it moved to Gilbert for two years and then to northwest Phoenix.

What will happen at the Arizona Balloon Classic?

Friday

Fun flights and tethered balloon rides. Evening desert balloon glow.

Saturday

Marketplace Village, food court, Family Fun Zone, fun flights, tethered rides, Hare & Hound Balloon Race, military helicopter demonstration, desert balloon glow, fireworks.

Sunday

Marketplace Village, food court, Family Fun Zone, fun flights, tethered rides, Hare & Hound Balloon Race.

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Check the schedule for times. Other activities may be offered  (usually on Saturday) like visits with Santa, Knockerball Tournament (a form of extreme soccer), and a “Fly-Wire Zipline.”

What is a desert balloon glow?

In the evening, the field fills with illuminated, tethered, hot air balloons that glow in time to music.

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 or at the event, subject to availability. You'll arrange for and pay for that directly with the event's official vendor for those rides.

Are there any discounted tickets?

Discounted tickets are available online, 2 for $20, until Wednesday, January 6, 2017. 

What else do I need to know?

The Ryan House is the charity for the 2017 Arizona Balloon Classic. 

All scheduled events are subject to change. Hot air balloon activities are dependent upon weather; safety is the first priority. No refunds will be given.

Bring the camera, chairs, little red wagons to haul round the kids, but not the dog and no outside food. 

Arizona Balloon Classic Tips

A balloon festival spans a lot of area and quite a bit of time during the day, so here are some tips that I have gathered that hopefully will prepare you for a memorable weekend of balloon activity and fun at the Arizona Balloon Classic.

  1. Balloon liftoffs, competitions and glows are always dependent upon weather conditions. Safety is the first priority. No rain checks or refunds are given if the balloons can't go up.
  1. When about thousands of your friends get together at one place, traffic and parking are likely to be annoying. Be early, be patient.
  2. Each day is considered a separate event and a separate ticket is required for each day.
  3. In an open field at 6:30 in the morning in December, it's pretty cold! Wear layers that you can remove as the day warms up.
  4. I like to walk, walk, walk at a balloon festival, but I recommend bringing those portable folding chairs so you can rest and enjoy the balloons (and your fry bread or hot dog) comfortably.
  5. Leave Fido home, since no pets are allowed.
  6. Re-entry will  be permitted on Saturday evening, after the morning races, for those that purchased tickets for Saturday.
  7. Bring cash for food, it's easiest.
  8. No outside food or beverages will be allowed.
  9. Don't forget the camera! There are no restrictions on photography.

    What if I have more questions?

    Visit the Arizona Balloon Classic online.

    All dates, times, prices and offerings are subject to change without notice.