UP, UP AND AWAY!
The Taos Mountain Balloon Rally was a sight to see. The colorful hot air balloons combined with the enthusiasm of the people made for a special weekend in Taos.
This year’s balloon rally began on the morning of October 28 in the field north of Albright Street. It started off at about 8:30 a.m. with tethered balloon rides, which were a good way for children and first-time balloon riders to get exposure to the experience of being up in the air in the basket of a hot air balloon.
The next day, the Mass Ascension took place at 8:15, this time the balloons were not tethered to the ground. There were also vendors selling food, drinks and tee-shirts commemorating the Taos Mountain Balloon Rally.
People returned Saturday evening for the popular “Balloomenshine” gathering at which balloon pilots lit up their grounded balloons in the dark. Even though the Autumn night air was chilly, the field was full of attentive spectators of all ages. First, the balloons were lit up in a solid simultaneous glow. Then, they were all lit up to flicker at the same time and the crowd cheered.
I could not wait to return Sunday morning for the final Mass Ascension. I arrived just after 7:00 a.m. and the field was already full of balloon pilots who were eating breakfast in their pick-up trucks. I bought a sausage biscuit from one of the booths and waited for the ascension to begin. I missed the first ascension, so I was excitedly awaiting this one. At about 8:00 a.m. people began to fill their balloons, and one by one they ascended into the blue Taos sky.
It was so nice to experience the positivity and the sense of community of the Taos Mountain Balloon Rally. Everyone seemed content to share in the experience together. Though I did not go up in a balloon, I felt experiencing the spectacle of the balloon rally from the ground was thrilling enough for me. Maybe next time, I will go on a tethered ride.
Blogpost, photos and video by Beth Dobos