The Gila Valley New Year's Balloon Extravaganza has two goals--Bring tourism to the Gila Valley and offer families a FREE, family-friendly way to celebrate New Year's. With the generous support of sponsors, we bring these majestic balloons to the Gila Valley.
To become a sponsor for the 2023-2024 event, go to Sponsor Signup or email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Susan Lindsey at 928-965-3222. If you are a previous sponsor, simply enter your mobile number and verify the information.
Planning for the Extravaganza 2023-2024 Is In Full Swing and Scheduled
The Gila Valley New Year's Balloon Extravaganza is continuing for its FOURTH YEAR after a very successful event last year when we flew multiple days and had over 3000 people attend out Home Depot and Super Glow Show. The Extravaganza committee will again host 20 pilots over New Year's weekend being the last and first balloon rally in the nation for 2023-2024 year.
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.
Friday and Saturday 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 children 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 8 PM.
FRIDAY BALLOON GLOW:
Friday 6 PM to 7 PM Home Depot Parking Lot
SATURDAY NIGHT BALLOON GLOW PARTY:
Tething starts at 6:00 PM Glow Party at 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM Safford Middle School Football Field
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!
Thank you Jessie Rodgers for this video of the event.
Generous Support of our Future Sponsors for 2023/2024...
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.