Best time to go to Arizona

Arizona Balloon Classic 2024

The premier hot air balloon race and festival in the state

Dates: January 26–28, 2024

Arizona Balloon Classic
Arizona Balloon Classic

What can be better than flying a hot air balloon over a desert? Arizona Balloon Classic is a perfect occasion to try this unique experience. During one weekend in late January (or early February), the sky over The Goodyear Ballpark in Goodyear, Arizona, gets covered with bright hot air balloons. “Hare & Hound” races, which take place in the mornings, are the main attraction of Arizona's premier ballooning festival. Desert Glow on Friday and Saturday evening is another atmospheric and popular event.

The festival attracts thousands of spectators, who can witness balloons' inflation and lift off. Hot Air Balloon and Tether rides are also available. Other attractions of the festival include live music, Family Fun Zone, Free Breakfast for Kids on Saturday, exhibits, and various entertainment. Arizona Baloon Classics also features the Annual Street Foodfest with plenty of tasty treats to sample.

At dusk, visitors can relax to the sounds of music strolling through the field, full of illuminated hot air balloons. They glow in sync to the music. In the mornings, attendees witness the teams' preparation for lift-off. They check equipment and ropes before a spectacular start, when dozens of balloons take off at once. The aerial hare-and-hound race is the most exciting time at the festival.

The festival grounds operate from 4 pm to 9 pm on Friday, 7 am to 9 pm on Saturday, and 7 am to 1 pm on Sunday. General admission is $25, while Classic Pass is $99, covering VIP Pavilion access, $10 for parking, and $50 for foods and beverages. Seniors of 55+ get general admission at $15 and military people are granted free admission. You can find more information and buy tickets on the event's official website (see External Resources below). Online tickets sales start in late November.

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