Here we are January 2018, the start of another brand new year……I arrived here in Phoenix, AZ January 1, 2018, after spending 10 months living and working at the Grand Canyon. I had only been in town for a few days but I was ready to start exploring Phoenix. I was on my computer googling things to do and see when I ran across the Glitter and Gold Balloon Festival that was being held on the evening of January 6th. As I read all about the festival and the fact it was free I was ready to go. I checked in with a few friends I have here in Phoenix to see if any of them wanted to go, but they all had other plans…but you all know me, I am good going solo and that’s a topic for another time. So I made my plans to go, it was a short 10-15 minute drive from where I am living and working to downtown, historic Glendale. I found a parking lot not far from where all the activities were taking place so it was just a short walk. The city had blocked off 16 blocks to traffic for the festivities. The Glitter and Gold Balloon Festival is an annual event and this year was its 23rd year. It was festive time with several glowing hot air balloons lined up and down the main streets, plus 1.6 million LED lights strung around in trees, bushes, etc in the park, 8 different local bands, food and even carnival rides and games for the kids. I really had a good time at this festival……I have seen hot air balloons over the years flying in the sky, but I had never gotten the chance to get up close and personal with them. It was amazing to watch as the balloon owners showed up in their trucks, or trucks and trailers that carried their balloons, then watch as a team for each balloon unfolded their balloon in the street on a tarp, stretched it out and then filled with gas to rise up into the night sky (none of the balloons flew). People were able to wander around, watch the balloons being set up, watch them periodically get a zap of the gas flame to keep them standing, you could talk to the owners, ask questions, etc. There were a few special shaped balloons……the bumblebee and a mass glow where the balloon pilots fired up the balloons all at once to create an awesome illumination.
LED lights in the park
Balloon owners rolling out their balloons.
So many balloons
Up close and personal
I found this band that I really enjoyed playing classic rock, oldies, and some country
And just some miscellaneous