Hot air balloon returns to SalsaFest

- Contributed Photo/Graham County Chamber of Commerce

SAFFORD — The Graham County Chamber of Commerce announced Friday the return of the hot air balloon element to the NatureSweet Tomatoes SalsaFest this year.

This year the owners of AZ Air Ventures, Susan and Greg Lindsey, will be bringing their eight-story-tall hot air balloon to the festival for a glow-up experience.

Although they won’t be giving rides to festival goers, they will be inflating the balloon, answering questions, and allowing the community to take pictures of the balloon. To glow-up means to light the flame at the top of the basket and fill the balloon with hot gas.

Ice King is the sponsor for the Hot Air Balloon Glow at this year’s SalsaFest.

“It’s a wonderful photo opportunity, the courthouse is only three-stories tall, and the balloon is eight-stories tall, so you can imagine what it’s like,” Greg said.

“We love to educate the community. Many people actually think we have a steering wheel,” he continued. “We can’t turn the balloon. There’s no steering.”

Greg has been a balloon pilot in the Graham County area since 2016 and \AZ Air Ventures group worked with the SalsaFest team roughly four years ago.

Weather permitting, AZ Air Adventures will display the balloon in a glow at 8 p.m. Friday, September 24.