Dec. 29, 2024 Thru Jan. 1, 2025
Weather Permitting!



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"Soaring Over the Gila Valley" has been scheduled.
 
 


The Gila Valley New Year's Balloon Extravaganza is returning for its fifth year after a successful event last year, which saw over 3,000 attendees at the Home Depot and Super Glow Show. The Extravaganza committee will once again host 20 pilots over New Year's weekend, marking the last and first balloon rally in the nation for the 2024-2025 year.

 

We rely on sponsors to support this community event, bringing in 20 pilots and over 100 crew members from Utah, Colorado, California, New Mexico, Texas and Arizona. Please consider becoming a sponsor by visiting our sponsor page, emailing info@GilaValleyBalloons.com , or contacting Susan Lindsey at 928-965-3222.



Gila Valley Balloon Extravaganza is now an Official Nonprofit Organization

Gila Valley Balloons is excited to announce we are now a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization helping promote tourism to the Gila Valley as well as provide a family-friendly way of celebrating New Year's with the Gila Valley New Year's Balloon Extravaganza. Being a non-profit allows our organization to focus on three goals: educating people about hot air ballooning, promoting tourism to the Gila Valley, and providing FREE, family-friendly activities involving hot air balloons. As a nonprofit, the Gila Valley Balloons can now accept tax-deductible donations, apply for grants, and form strategic partnerships to further enrich the event. This new status promises to bring even more exciting opportunities for our community involvement, education, and the continuation of the Extravaganza, a colorful tradition that brings joy and wonder to the Gila Valley each year.

 

 

As a sponsor of the Gila Valley Balloon Extravaganza, you now have flexible options for your contribution. You can opt to use the full amount of your sponsorship as a nonprofit contribution, or continue to sponsor the event in exchange for receiving passenger flights during the event. This flexibility allows sponsors to support the event and its mission in a way that best aligns with their preferences and objectives. 



Become a Sponsor!
   

The Gila Valley New Year's Balloon Extravaganza has three goals--Bring tourism to the Gila Valley, offer families a FREE, family-friendly way to celebrate New Year's, and educate people about the sport of hot air ballooning. With the generous support of sponsors, we bring 20 majestic hot air balloons to the Gila Valley. 

To become a sponsor for the 2024-2025 event, go to Sponsor Signup or email info@gilavalleyballoons.com or contact Greg Lindsey at 928-965-6970. If you are a previous sponsor, simply enter your mobile number and verify the information.

 

 



WE NEED VOLUNTEERS AND CREWS!!!

 

The adventure starts at 6:45 AM. Crewing for a hot air balloon is fun and exciting. 

 

 

Volunteers and Crew will be entered into a

 

drawing to win Home Depot Prizes 

 

and free balloon rides on Crew Days.



REQUIREMENTS to CREW:

1. No experience necessary
2. Be cooperative, friendly and follow directions
3. Be physically able to help with holding fabric
 

 

 

Click the link below to sign up.


Click here to be redirected to the link mentioned above.


Listen to Greg & Susan's Voice of the Valley Podcast from Last Event

Click here to listen to podcast.



Balloon Launches

 

BALLOON LAUNCHES 7:30 AM (weather permitting)

 

WHERE: Field southeast of Ruth Powell School

 

PARKING: Ruth Powell parking lot

 


Want to Fly at the Event?

Become a sponsor and receive a TAX DONATION or tickets to fly at the event. 

 

There are FOUR different sponsorship levels. Visit our sponsor page to get information or go to bit.ly/gilavalleysponsor to sign up.

 

If you want to volunteer, sign up to be crew. Crew members who help all days may get to fly. Check out the Crew Sign Up Page to volunteer. 


Monday and Tuesday Glows

 

During balloon glows, spectators can come right up to the baskets where they can talk to the pilot and crew, and enjoy the specatular beauty of these magestic giants that stand seven stories high. 

 

During our Glow Party on New Year's Eve, starting at 6:00 pm, there will be free tether rides for KIDS ONLY first come first serve (weather permitting). The balloons will begin inflating at 6:30 and there will be a "balloon drop" celebrating New Year's at 7:30 PM.

 

MONDAY BALLOON GLOW:

Monday 6 PM to 7 PM
Home Depot Parking Lot

 

TUESDAY NIGHT BALLOON GLOW PARTY:

Tething starts at 6:00 PM
Glow Party at 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Safford Middle School Football Field 

 

If you are interested in sponsoring one of the Glow Nights, please contact us at info@gilavalleyballoons.com

HOW IT ALL BEGAN... 

For several years, pilot Debbi Waltman of Colorado, good friends with Greg and Susan Lindsey, would come to Safford for a week during New Years to escape the Colorado cold and the three would enjoy flying in the Gila Valley. In 2019-2020, Bruce Dodson drove from Phoenix and we had four balloons in the air. In 2020-2021, Valerie Favicchio, also of Colorado, learned of our little tradition and asked to join creating what became known as the first Safford Balloon Extravaganza. Word spread, and soon Gary Macguire of Colorado, Keith Evans of Utah, and Andy Richardson of Indiana all came to join. Seven balloons flew the skies above the Gila Valley ringing in the 2021 year. From great mornings flying to sitting around the campfire at the Lindsey home, everyone had such an amazing time, they asked if we could do this again next year, and of course we said ABSOLUTELY!

And so began the Saffod Balloon Extravaganza. The Lindsey's hosted and the amazing Duckling Crew provided food for all of the pilots who came . The community responded well and were thrilled to see seven balloon flying. Thanks to some city council members and the Graham County Chamber of Commerce, we gained community support and the name was changed from the Safford Balloon Extravaganza to the Gila Valley New Year's Balloon Extravaganza in 2021-2022. As the last rally of the year in the nation and the first rally of each year in the nation, we are excited to host balloon pilots who come from multiple states to help us ring out the old year and in the new year!



The Loss of Another of Our Original Founders

The Gila Valley Balloon organization is deeply saddened by the loss of one of our original pilots, Keith Evans from Santaquin, Utah. Just five days after our event, Keith tragically lost his life in an accident while assisting another pilot. His passing comes less than a year after the loss of his wife, Marianne. Our Balloon Meister, Greg Lindsey, had the honor of flying Keith's memorial flight from Fox Field in Provo on July 6, 2024, during the Freedom Festival. 

 

Keith's contribution to helping create the Gila Valley New Year's Balloon Extravaganza will be honored this year as we pay tribute to Keith and Marianne Evens during the 2024-2025 event. Keith's kindness, passion for people, and love for flying will be profoundly missed.

 

Keith will be deeply missed, as much as we miss Andy Richardson who passed away two years earlier. Please visit Andy's Memorial Flight. 



Thank you Jessie Rodgers for this video of the event.






See Our Sponsor's Commercials...


Advanced Air Systems

Boulevard Glass

Edward Jones

Goodman Ag

Ice King

Joe's Ride-n-Dine

Pollock's Western Outfitters

Tom and Tracy Pursley Realtors
Tierra Antigua

 



Generous Support of our Future Sponsors for 2024/2025...


AZ Air Ventures and the Duckling Crew created the Gila Valley New Year's Balloon Extravaganza as a free event for our community to enjoy. It is only through the generous support of our sponsors that we are able to bring these majestic balloons to the Gila Valley. Each balloon we bring in is based on of our local businesses generously giving financial support to make this event happen. Please help us thank our sponsors.

The Gila Valley New Year's Balloon Extravaganza has three goals--Bring tourism to the Gila Valley, offer families a FREE, family-friendly way to celebrate New Year's, and educate people about the sport of hot air ballooning. With the generous support of sponsors, we bring 20 majestic hot air balloons to the Gila Valley. 

As a non-profit organization, sponsors can now choose to take a full tax deduction in exchange for their sponsorship or receive passenger flight certificates to fly during the event. Sponsorships include either tax donations or hot air balloon flights over the Gila Valley during the Extravaganza (weather permitting). All sponsorships include media promotions throughout the year including social media, website, and print, and payment options including monthly billing.

To become a sponsor for the 2024-2025 event, go to Sponsor Signup or email info@gilavalleyballoons.com or contact Greg Lindsey at 928-965-6970. If you are a previous sponsor, simply enter your mobile number and verify the information.

 

Advanced Air Systems
See Their Commercial...

 
Ash Creek Financial Advisors

 
AZ Air Ventures, LLC



 




Boulevard Glass
See Their Commercial...

 
City of Safford

 
Edward Jones
See Their Commercial...



 




Goodman Ag
See Their Commercial...

 
Graham County Chamber of Commerce

 
Griffin's Propane



 




Home Depot

 
Ice King
See Their Commercial...

 
Joe's Ride-n-Dine
See Their Commercial...



 




Matlock Gas

 
Pollock's Western Outfitters
See Their Commercial...

 
Relax Tax and Accounting Service



 




Special Anonymous Donor for Randall Lindsey

 
Tom and Tracy Pursley Realtors
Tierra Antigua

See Their Commercial...

 
Tri-County Materials



 




United Way

 
Vining Funeral Home


Gila Valley Balloon Extravaganza
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