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Balloon Rally reaches milestone in New Mexico

The Taos Mountain Balloon Rally marked its 30th anniversary at the end of October, with 38 pilots gathering in New Mexico to celebrate. The non-profit organisation behind the event operates an invitation-only system in order to avoid having to arrange any extra corporate sponsorship. Financial support was instead found from the rally’s usual supporters, such as Centinel Bank, General Rental, Michael’s Kitchen and the Moby Dickens bookshop. Local volunteers also lent their support. Ralph Sweet of General Rental has sponsored the hot air balloon event since 1982. He said:
“The Taos rally was started by the same folks who started the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. They spent so much time working the event in Albuquerque that they themselves didn’t have time to fly. So, after they were done down there they all started coming up to Taos to fly for fun and relaxation.”
The public relations co-ordinator for the rally, Pam Campbell, said that it was great to see the large balloons inflate and then silently disappear into the sky. The rally kicked off on October 26 with a morning ascent. This was followed by tethered rides for children. Attendees were also able to purchase balloon-related souvenirs and gifts from the vendors’ stalls. Further dawn patrols took place over the weekend, with the Balloon Rally Parade proving popular on Saturday. Sunday’s ‘Balloomenshein’ event featured balloons which were lit especially to resemble pumpkins. These were tethered to the ground with their envelopes up and the burners on – creating a glowing effect against the surrounding darkness.
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