Cave Creek is also home to one of the region's most unique seasonal events: the Cave Creek Balloon Festival. The popular annual event draws thousands of people to the Rancho Mañana Resort every May, who come to eat, drink and bask in the glow of a dozen hot air balloons.
The Cave Creek Balloon Festival kicks off summer with live music, tasty eats and hot air balloons — Photo courtesy of Cave Creek Festivals
The balloon festival is held on the beautifully landscaped driving range of the Rancho Mañana Golf Course, situated adjacent to the resort. Festival organizers say the event is designed to help kick off summer with a bang.
While the hot air balloons aren't launched during the event (It's unsafe to fly hot air balloons at night.), festival-goers can get up close and personal with about 10 to 12 colorful, glowing balloons.
The 2015 Cave Creek Balloon Festival will feature live music by country-pop duo Heartlyn Rae and local country-pop diva Lauren Riley. For families, festival organizers say there will be an expanded kids' zone area with more games and activities.
Part of the festival fun is the eclectic parade of local food trucks and vendors. Tasty eats will be available from the Frosted Frenzy Cup Cakes, Fry Bread Inc., Hao Bao, Doughlicious Pizza, Firehouse Shaved Ice and The Grilled Cheese Truck.
All festival-goers are invited to have dinner at the Tonto Bar & Grill, located just a short stroll from the golf course. Dinner will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
If you really want to give yourself the royal treatment, advance VIP tickets are available for $60. VIP admission includes a private gourmet buffet from the Tonto Bar & Grill, as well as access to a private cash bar and private restrooms. VIP tickets must be ordered in advance from the festival's website.
General tickets to the event are $10 for adults and $5 for kids 12 and under. Veterans and active military who show their ID at the ticket office will receive half-price admission.
The 2015 Cave Creek Balloon Festival is scheduled for Saturday, May 23, 2015 from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. The balloons will be inflated from around 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., and the evening will cap off with a dazzling fireworks display.
The Cave Creek Balloon Festival is a rain or shine event. No lawn chairs are allowed at the venue, but bring your picnic blanket for an evening of fun under the desert stars.