By Joe Gilmore
Hot air balloons will fill the Scottsdale night sky at Salt River Fields when the Balloon Spooktacular returns to the Spring Training ballpark for the seventh year Friday, October 27, and Saturday, October 28.
Clocked at more than three hours, the Spooktacular is the world’s longest continuous glow. The Aerial Solutions-produced event is expected to bring in more than 36,000 visitors for viewing, trick or treating, eating and gaming.
“The event should continue to grow this year as word spreads about how much fun it is and how much is included with admission,” says Vanessa Clifton, Aerial Solutions’ vice president and chief operating officer.
Families will get the chance to go on tethered rides on the balloons, which act as candy stations with more than 4,000 pounds of goodies.
Besides the balloons, there will be nightly firework shows, music, a pumpkin patch, and a frightening Spook Trail. Donations to the Spook Trail will go to the Saguaro High School choir program, who helped to develop the attraction.
Guests feeling competitive can take part in the nightly costume contest for kids, adults and groups. The Kids Zone gives children the chance to take a break from the haunted attractions and jump on bounce houses, and partake in slides, obstacle courses and more than 40 games.
The Spooktacular Marketplace will offer food and drink from dozens of vendors, as well as arts, crafts and merchandise from local shops.
New this year is the Pumpkin Patch Photo Booth, where friends and families can pose with pumpkins and post the pictures to Instagram or Facebook.
“The Balloon Spooktacular is a great opportunity to get up close and personal with hot air balloons,” she says. “It’s the perfect family-friendly experience for fall.”
Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, 7555 N. Pima Road, Scottsdale, 480.270.5000, srfballoonfestivals.com, 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, October 27, and Saturday, October 28, $10-$15 admission, $15-$25 for tethered balloon rides.