Arizona Balloon Classic takes flight over the Valley

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- This weekend, more than 30 hot air balloons will fill the skies over the Valley.

It's all part of the Arizona Balloon Classic, taking place January 23-25. The festival will include special balloon races, competitions, lift-offs, live musical entertainment, Para-motor flights, fireworks, a car show display and a family fun zone.

Pilot Ken Tadolini says it's a great event for everyone. "Just the joy of seeing the people who have never seen a balloon before," he says. "They are magical. They're gentle giants is what they are."

The three-day event will feature the following daily highlights:
-Hare and Hound races will take place Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings, where spectators can watch the balloons inflate and take off.
-Hot Air Expeditions will provide "Fun Flights" on Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons, where spectators can watch a mass ascension in the afternoon sun.
-Desert Glows will take place on Friday and Saturday evenings where spectators can enjoy a field of illuminated, tethered, hot air balloons glowing with music. Saturday's show will be followed by a spectacular fireworks show.

Arizona Balloon Classic
Friday, January 23, 2015 - Sunday, January 25, 2015
Gates open on Friday and Saturday at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.
Sunday they open at 7 a.m. and close at 12 p.m.

West Valley's Fear Farm Sports Complex
2209 North 99th Avenue (I-10 West and Loop 101)
Phoenix, AZ

Tickets can be purchased in advance for $10 or at the gate for $15. Active military and children 12 and under are FREE. Parking is available on site for $5.

For information about group ticket packages, visit