As you may know a lot of what is promoted in Mexican Tourism is for adults, but this festival will be for adults and families. Many children in México have never seen a Hot Air Balloon, so for them this will be quite an experience. Much like seeing the stunt pilots in Puerto Peñasco in November. This event will be held for the first time in the Northwest part of Mexico and the State of Sonora and Puerto Peñasco February 24th, 25th and 26th . It is being held at Laguna del Mar so it will have a stunning back drop for the event. This will be the first of the festivals in 2017, so Puerto Peñasco is delighted to have it.
In the Untied States there are several major Hot Air Balloon Festivals with the largest being in Albuquerque, NM in October. Here hundreds of balloons ascend daily and they come in not only globe shapes but shapes of cows, pigs, telephones, Darth Vader, Tweetie, Kermit the Frog, Donald Duck, Panda Bears and so many more. There are also festivals in Yuma, Lake Havasu, Rio Rico and Phoenix. Normally these are held in fall due to colder air in mornings for ascension and the late afternoon. Although for the first year we may not have Special Shape balloons… who knows what will come for 2018.
In the State of Sonora there has been events in Agua Prieta and also San Luis Rio Colorado. In the South of Mexico you will find large festivals in Guanajuato and Irapuato.
The Chief Pilot is Patrick Nilz and he is the only pilot to ever fly over the Grand Canyon in AZ, as well be being featured in National Geographic Magazine, the Discovery Channel as well as CNN and ABC. And Patrick Nilz Jr is the youngest pilot in the world. All of the pilots must be and are licensed to fly.
On the mornings of the festival, rides will be given to the sponsors and then open to the public. Even if the balloon is tethered, meaning it is attached to ropes and will just go up and down, try to do it.
There will be events going on all day and into the evening of the 3 day Festival of Hot Air Balloons. The balloons will start to be blown up at 6 am every day (weather permitting) and will ascend at 6:30 am and the events will go from then until 5:30 pm. In the late afternoons and evenings you will be able to witness the Show of Lights or Magic Nights as it is called. Admission is $40 pesos or about $2.00 USD. Plan to picnic, take in the live music, have some great food and take in a car show. There is also a children’s area. At 7:30 will be the Exhibition of Light Show or as it is called in the USA a Balloon Glow and at 8:00 pm the festival continues. We are expecting between 8-12 balloons.
A short bit of history on the hot air balloon is that the hot air balloon was the first successful flight technology to carry humans. The 1st untetehered manned flight was performed by Jean-Francois Pilatre de Rosier and Francois Laurent d’Arlandes on November 12, 1783 in Paris, France in a balloon that was created by the Montgolfier Brothers. It is the oldest form of human flight.
On a personal note, if you have never had the opportunity to go up in a balloon, please do yourself a huge favor and take a flight. It is tranquil and yet if you are low enough to the ground you can hear the people talking or animals making sounds. I was fortunate enough to do this on one of my many birthdays and have never forgotten the feeling when you rise above the world and listen to sounds of the hot air bunners in the balloon as it rises and travels across the sky.
Please don’t forget to put this on your travel plans to Puerto Peñasco aka Rocky Point in February. Bring the family and make it another wonderful event for your family. Remember in February there are many events coming up such as The Taste of Peñasco featuring food from local restaurants as well as arts/crafts and more will be held February 18th. The Red Carpet Event to benefit the youth of Puerto Peñasco, is also going on that weekend, so make your reservations soon if you don’t already own a place here.