Cave Creek Balloon Festival

Hot Air Balloons Glow at the Family Friendly Event - 2017

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© Judy Hedding

The sky will glow with amazing colors when hot air balloons are inflated for the Cave Creek Balloon Festival. Come to Cave Creek for an evening of family fun and entertainment.

When is the Cave Creek Balloon Festival?

Saturday, May 27, 2017 from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Where is it?

At the Rancho Mañana Golf Course, on the driving range. It is next to the Tonto Bar & Grill, 5736 E. Rancho Mañana Blvd., Cave Creek. You can't park there, though. Parking will be either in downtown Cave Creek at  38406 N. Schoolhouse Rd. or at Stagecoach Village, 7100 E Cave Creek Rd., in Cave Creek. Parking cost is $5, and proceeds will go to Cave Creek Unified School District. Shuttles will make stops to bring people to and from the event.

What will happen?

Before it gets dark there will be live music, a local vendor market, food vendors and a Kidszone, with inflatable slides, bounce houses and obstacle courses. At sunset the hot air balloons begin inflating. Balloons will glow starting at about 7:30 p.m. 

How do I get tickets and how much are they?

You may purchase your tickets in advance (extra fees may apply) online or at the gate. Ticket prices are $12 for each adult, $7 for each child age 3- 12, children age 2 and under admitted free. Prices are $3 per ticket higher at the gate. Bring cash if you intend to buy tickets at the gate.

VIP tickets are available in advance only, $75 per adult, $35 per child and are only available in advance through May 25. VIPs get a separate entrance, parking pass, buffet provided by Tonto Bar & Grill (5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.), a private cash bar and private restrooms. This buffet isn't hot dogs and burgers! Think jumbo shrimp, salmon and beef tenderloin medallions.

Are there any single ticket discounts available?

Veterans and active military receive half-price tickets when buying tickets at the gate and showing appropriate military ID.

What else should I know about the Cave Creek Balloon Festival?

This isn't a balloon race like the big Albuquerque show. The hot air balloons are inflated but do not take off for this event. It's a smaller scale balloon glow event, with entertainment for the kids, live bands, food and beverage, and lots of photo opportunities. No pets, no outside food or beverage, no rainchecks.

Eight Things To Know Before You Go

  1. If the conditions are windy, the balloons might not be inflated. Hope for good weather!
  2. When I attended, there was quite a crowd. Get there early for VIP/handicapped parking — the lot was full by 5 p.m.
  3. There are extra charges for kids activities and tethered balloon rides. Bring cash.
  4. The balloon activity doesn't begin until around 7:30 p.m., and even then it is a slow process as the balloon teams take their turns inflating the hot air balloons for your enjoyment.
  5. Kids, kids, kids! If you don't like being around kids, this isn't the event for you. Did I mention kids? And lots of strollers.
  1. There are lines for everything. Be patient. Food lines got very long after about 6 p.m. Bring cash.
  2. No pets or outside food are permitted. You may bring a blanket on which to sit. You may bring low profile lawn chairs if they are used in a designated area.
  3. I have never seen more cameras at an event, so don't forget yours!

What if I have more questions?

For more information, visit the Cave Creek Balloon Festival online.

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