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For a first time in Puerto Peñasco, hot air balloons will decorate the skies Feb. 24th – 26th during the “Rocky Point Balloon Festival,” staged across the grounds of Laguna del Mar.
The event, which is being organized independently though with logistical support from local authorities, will decorate the port sky with lively colors as at least 10 hot air balloons take to the air, offering rides for any interested. Why February? Organizers note these dates were selected as part of the goal is to revive tourism to the area during what can often be a slower time.
The balloon festival, which is part of the larger “Ruta del Globo” initiative throughout Sonora, will offer numerous activities including rides through the skies, tethered balloon “rides”, stilt walkers, plus live music and more! The fest itself will take place at the spacious Laguna del Mar just north of town, where families will be able to enjoy the day.
Valente Cornejo of the organizing committee details the program will begin with “Magic Sky” at 5:30/6 a.m. each morning as balloons ready for a 6:30 take off; entry will be free for the early morning spectacle for any wishing to watch balloon preparations.
On Friday, Feb. 24th, and Saturday, Feb. 25th, gates will open at 5:30 p.m. for the “Balloon Route Festival” so that families can enjoy fest activities as well as go up in a balloon if they desire. Festival entry is 40 pesos (or $2 US)
Balloon rides during the Festival will range in cost from 300 pesos for tethered balloon experiences, with a max capacity of 10, to balloon flights at $250 US per flight (not per person). Flights are limited to 2-3 people per trip (not including the pilot).
As hot air balloon flights* are considered an extreme sport, tickets must be purchased for the non-tethered balloon flights in advance so passengers can sign a safety and liability form.
On Friday and Saturday evenings, the festival will feature a Balloon Exhibition and Light Show, where fest goers will be able to enjoy the glowing figures of the hot air balloons as they light up.
It’s worth noting among the pilots will be Patrick Nilz, who is known for having participated in balloon festivals across the world and for having crossed over the Grand Canyon from point to point. Patrick “Paddy” Nilz Jr. will also be among the pilots, who is known as the youngest licensed hot air balloon pilot.
Tickets both for entry to the evening Balloon Route Festival (40 pesos) and balloon rides can be purchased at Café Puerto Viejo (across from Thrifty) in the Old Port. Balloon Route Festival tickets can also be bought at Portugal Insurance offices (Blvd. Fremont, Blvd. Juarez), and at Coffee Point (Blvd. Juarez)
*Balloon flights will depend on weather and climate.
More information at: 638 383 1979 Rocky Point Balloon Festival / Festival del Globo Pto. Peñasco