The Hot Air Balloon Race & Festival Returns
Text by Ron Jensen

Today through Sunday, May 2, the Arizona Balloon Classic returns to Goodyear for its 10th year. Set your alarm because the hot air balloons are scheduled to fly at 6 a.m. If that’s a bit too early for you, no problem…the non-stop festivities continue through 9 p.m. 

Above: The Arizona Balloon Classic 2021 runs from today through Sunday, May 2.

Adding to the festivities, there’s a Family Fun Zone with inflatables, water slides and carnival rides. The kiddos will love the Dino Crew, which specializes in bringing life-like mechanical dinosaurs to action. 

In addition to hot air balloon race competitions, a new, daytime exhibit has been added to the festival. The Desert Wind Kite Show will feature jumbo kites, candy canons, paper-rocket making and launching, and parachute ground racing. Kites, geared to all ages and abilities, will be on display and available for purchase. Note that show times will be based on weather conditions.

Above, left: The Desert Wind Kite Show is a new attraction this year. Right: The kiddos will be entertained by life-like mechanical dinosaurs.

Live music will be provided by Milo Matthews and the Michael Reeves Band. Throughout the day, tethered hot air balloon rides will be available. Also there will be retail vendors and a Beer Garden, as well as a Street Food Fest where attendees can sample a wide assortment of culinary delicacies.

Every evening, the grand finale will light up the skies, as hot air balloons are illuminated. The last night of the festival, guests will be dazzled by a fireworks extravaganza.

For more information, visit