The 8th Annual Arizona Balloon Classic brings sightseers to Goodyear, Arizona for a festival focused solely on hot air balloons.
This week I had the opportunity to visit the 8th Annual Arizona Balloon Classic. The sights were breathtaking as I had the opportunity to ride in a hot air balloon myself and experience the hot air balloon "Glow". This is where all of the hot air balloon vendors set off their balloons at sunset. Hands down one of the coolest things I've ever experienced. The balloons get released while you are allowed to walk around and talk to the pilots personally. This takes place at 6:30 pm on Friday and Saturday night.
The Hot Air Balloon "Glow" Pascale Bushaw
This is not the only thing you will be amazed by. At the festival, there is a tent hosted by Aerogelic Ballooning which allows you to purchase tickets to ride in a hot air balloon ride in that very moment! Being afraid of heights, I was hesitant at first, but this was by far one of my favorite moments of the year and I can now scratch that off my bucket list.
One treat they brought back this year was the 2nd Annual Street Foodfest, where vendors from all over come prepared with food and drinks for purchase. One of my favorite booths was called Java Jakes where they offered hot cocoa after the cold weather arrived. They also had merchandise booths and one, in particular, caught my eye. I had the chance to interview Drew Griswold, founder of Wander and Co. He told me a bit about what his brand is about saying, "It's a company that travels all over the country, we sell products that benefit nonprofit organizations." The booth itself sold shirts with animals on them and a portion of the purchases went to help end abuse to wildlife around the world.
Riley Anderson and I riding in a hot air balloon Photo taken by Aerogelic Staff
When preparing for the Arizona Balloon Classic, I would recommend to wear comfy clothes and come prepared with a camera. The event itself has so many different photo opportunities that you will want to take advantage of.
If you enjoy music, the event has live bands playing throughout the event such as Milo Matthews, Dan Jackson, Laura Joy, and Superhero BMX. With a variety of music genres and talented musicians, anyone will be sure to have a smile on their face when exploring the grounds.
I originally wanted to go to the 8th Annual Arizona Balloon Classic because of the uniqueness of the event but after doing some research, it was brought to my attention that a portion of their ticket sales go to the Valley of the Sun United Way program. This program fights to end hunger, homelessness, and financial issues. Seeing that multiple booths and the event itself were giving back in some way only made the event more special.
Few of the many vendors here at the event. Pascale Bushaw
Overall, this event was spectacular. I was able to meet so many different people all with the same interest of hot air balloons. I would recommend this event to anyone and everyone because even if you don't want to ride hot air balloons, there is food, live music, pop up shops, and plenty of sights to see. Tickets are $15 general admission at the door so get ready for next year because it is an event you don't want to miss!
Special thanks to the 8th Annual Arizona Balloon Classic for having me and letting me report on such a memorable event. Check out abcfest to stay informed about next years 9th Annual Balloon Classic!