The Annual Fiesta Bowl Parade in downtown Phoenix represents one of the Valley’s most treasured traditions of the holiday season. People by the thousands lined the streets early in the morning to get a good seat to see the floats, marching bands, action heroes, equestrian groups, clowns and large balloons in the annual parade. Fighter Country Partnership and the Blue Blazer Squadron were honored to support the 56th Fighter Wing and guide the American flag balloon down the parade route to introduce the representatives from Luke Air Force Base. This is FCP’s sixth year participating in the Fiesta Bowl Parade.
Gathering early in morning on December 30, Blue Blazers Joshua Abel and Jason Isaak greeted the Blazers and distributed parking passes. “We had a record turnout for this very special event and it was encouraging to see so many BBS families join in supporting Luke and the 56th Fighter Wing,” said Danny Ortega, BBS Fiesta Bowl Chairman.
The Fiesta Bowl Parade opened with a B-17 flyover which got the crowd excited for a great morning. The Arizona Public Service (APS) oversized U.S. balloon flag soared high above the BBS volunteers.
“This year, we were fortunate to have Command Chief John Mazza in the parade vehicle with the service men and women representing the wing,” said Bruce Larson, Chairman of the Blue Blazer Squadron. “We were honored to have a more high-profile position in the parade which meant that we had the opportunity to see more cheering fans along the parade route.”
“It was heart-warming to see the thousands of parade spectators give standing ovations and applause to our U.S. flag followed by the Airmen of Luke AFB throughout the entire length of the parade,” said Bruce Larsen.
The Blue Blazers enjoyed their 30 seconds of television fame as the announcer introduced the group, but was also quick to remind the crowds that we were there to honor the men and women of Luke AFB.
As the helium in the balloon was fading a bit at the end of the parade, the children jumped in to hold it up and keep the flag off of the ground. The Blue Blazers regrouped at Hamburger Works downtown to relax and celebrate our spectacular abilities in float guidance. Join us next year for this Fighter Country Partnership, Blue Blazer Squadron family tradition!
Below is a sample of the set. View all the photos on our Flickr page here.
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View more photos here.