Head over to Goodyear Ballpark, 1933 S. Ballpark Way, in Goodyear, on January 26 to 28 for the thrilling Arizona Balloon Classic! This spectacular event showcases a sky full of vibrant hot air ballons, blending science and nature into an awe-inspiring spectacle. Beyond the mesmerizing balloon ascents and descents, the festival is brimming with entertainment, activities, and food options. A highlight for families: kids 12 and under get in free, making it an affordable adventure for families. Stay tuned to Epic Kids’ Facebook page and weekly eblast to win tickets. For more information about the event, visit abcfest.com.
Unraveling the magic of hot air balloons!
Did you know that hot air balloons have been around for centuries? The first passengers of a hot air balloon were not people, but a sheep, a duck, and a rooster! This historic flight happened in France in 1783.
How Do They Work
Hot air balloons, operate on a simple yet fascinating principle. The secret to their ascent lies in the nature of hot air. Hot air, being lighter than cold air, rises. In a hot air balloon, the air inside the balloon (known as the envelope) is heated by a burner, making it lighter than the surrounding cooler air. This causes the balloon to lift off the ground. As the air inside the balloon cools, it becomes denser, and the balloon begins to descend. Pilots control the balloon’s altitude by carefully managing the temperature of the air inside the envelope with the burner, allowing for gentle ascents and descents.
In Phoenix, the cooler months, generally from November to March, offer more favorable conditions for ballooning. The mild temperatures and clear skies during these months create perfect conditions for a smooth and scenic balloon ride.
The Anatomy of a Hot Air Balloon
A hot air balloon has three main parts: the envelope, the burner, and the basket. The envelope is the big, colorful part that you see in the sky. It’s usually made of nylon and can be in all sorts of shapes and sizes. The burner, which is like a powerful flame, heats the air inside the envelope. Lastly, the basket is where the passengers and pilot stand. It’s usually made of wicker, which is strong yet lightweight.
Festivals Around the World
All over the world, people celebrate hot air balloons with festivals. One such festival is the Arizona Balloon Classic. These festivals are not just about flying; they are a carnival of colors, with balloons of all shapes and sizes, from animals to fantastical creatures. Some festivals even have night glows, where balloons light up in the dark, creating a magical spectacle.
Ballooning as a Sport
Did you know ballooning is also a sport? Pilots show off their skills in competitions. One popular contest is the Hare and Hound race, where one balloon (the hare) takes off first, and the others (the hounds) chase it!
Safety is super important in ballooning. Pilots undergo special training, and balloons are checked regularly to ensure they are in top condition.
Eco-friendly Sky Sailing
Hot air balloons are one of the most environmentally friendly forms of flight. They don’t make much noise and don’t use a lot of fuel compared to airplanes.