Hot air balloon rides shatter the stork community's monopoly on carrying humans in baskets. Democratize the skies with this Groupon.
Choose Between Two Options
- $10 for two to attend one day of the 2012 Arizona Balloon Classic (a $20 value)
- $19 for four to attend one day of the 2012 Arizona Balloon Classic (a $40 value)
At 7:15 a.m. on Saturday, December 8, or Sunday, December 9, festival attendees witness the hot-air balloon fleet compete in morning hare-and-hound races. They also gather at 7 p.m. on Friday, December 7, or Saturday, December 8, to see a field of tethered balloons glow in time with music for a one-hour Desert Glows show. On Saturday, attendees also witness a fireworks show. Throughout the weekend, they listen to live entertainment, inspect balloon-centric exhibits, or vote on food and drink samples at the Holiday Food and Fun Festival. Gates are open Friday from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday from 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., and Sunday 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Single-event ticket holders receive free parking, and children under 12 are admitted free.
Arizona Balloon Classic
It begins with a flurry of activity. Balloon operators prepare for lift-off, checking equipment and tossing ropes as spectators wander the grounds, observing the action. And then it reaches a new level: dozens of balloons take flight at once, filling the crisp December dawn sky with brilliant blues, purples, oranges, and reds that rival the colors around them. The Arizona Balloon Classic's orbs then set off on an aerial hare-and-hound race, drawing cheers from below as onlookers snap pictures.
For one weekend each year, visitors gather on the grounds to snap pictures and watch the balloons inflate and lift-off outside the Gilbert Civic Center for the Classic––a three-day festival celebrating hot-air balloon flight and culture. But the fun doesn't end with the descent to earth. After sunset the tethered balloons begin to glow, lighting up for the DESERT GLOWS portion of the festivities. Attendees browse exhibits and feast on treats from a variety of vendors, and children play in the Family Fun Zone. Last, on Saturday evening, sparks give balloons a run for their money, springing through the sky in a stunning fireworks display.