Here are the top five things to do this weekend in Phoenix, May 25-28.
The festival will include live music, new balloons, a kids zone and a fireworks display.
Celebrate Memorial Day this Saturday, May 27 at Rancho Mañana Golf Course at the Cave Creek Balloon Festival with great food, live music, a fly-over, fireworks and lighted hot-air balloons that you can see up close and personal.
“This event is special because of its location in Cave Creek, which is a fun, quirky small town and the setting on the (golf course) driving range with the surrounding mountains,” said Vanessa Clifton, event organizer.
The gates open at 5:30 p.m. with live music by Madison Holmes, who will also sing the National Anthem. At 6:30 p.m., there will be a Civil Air Patrol, Arizona Wing, Squadron 302 Color Guard presentation followed by the Missing Man Fly Over.
The Anglim Sisters will continue the live music from 6:45 to 8 p.m. Headlining country artist Harry Luge and his band will take the stage at 8 p.m.
As the sun begins to set, around 7:30 p.m., the hot-air balloons will begin to inflate, and as darkness settles, their glow will light up the event site.
There will be eight balloons this year. Two will be special shapes including a baby bee, which has been at the event before, and a brand new shape, which is two lovebirds that form a giant heart.
Kevin Flanagan, balloon pilot, will be at the event this year, as he has been every year. He will be manning the Remax and the Chick-fil-A balloons.
Flanagan has been flying balloons for a living for 33 years.
“I used to have a race car,” he says. “I sold that and on an impulse bought a hot air balloon.”
The evening ends with a celebratory fireworks display.
“We have a new site to launch the fireworks from,” Clifton says. “So, we are actually able to launch larger fireworks, making the show bigger and better.”
Also new this year, due to guest feedback from previous years, is the elimination of buying tickets to purchase food. Now, guests can go directly to the food vendor.
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There will be free face painting and balloon twisting for the kids and a kids zone with great activities.
Those who purchase advance tickets online or VIP tickets will use a separate entrance to get into the event.
VIP tickets include entry, a gourmet buffet from Tonto Bar and Grill, private cash bar and private restrooms.
Parking is available in two locations: Schoolhouse Road and Stagecoach Village. Parking costs $5, which includes shuttle service to and from the event. Parking proceeds will go to the Cave Creek Unified School District (CCUSD).
Cave Creek Balloon Festival
When: 5:30-10 p.m. Saturday, May 27.
Where: Rancho Mañana Golf Course (driving range), 5734 E. Rancho Manana Blvd., Cave Creek.
Admission: $15 adults, $10 kids 12-2, free children under 2 (discounted prices for pre-paid tickets). VIP tickets $75 for adults, $35 children 12 and under.
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