Gila Valley Balloon Extravaganza: Photo Library


Dec. 29, 2023
Thru Jan. 1, 2024

Weather Permitting!

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Welcome to Photos of the Gila Valley Balloons Extravaganza!

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!


2022/2023

2022-2023 Event

Twenty pilots from five states visited the Gila Valley for the first official Gila Valley New ...
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2021-2022

2021-2022 Event

Twenty pilots from five states visited the Gila Valley for the first official Gila Valley New Year's Balloon Extra...
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2020/2021

2020-2021 Inaurgural Event

Here are some photos of last year's seven pilots and what started it all.


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