Fall in Taos isn't just about art and music festivals and nature's preparation for hibernation — it's also a time during a weekend in late October, the round, wicker-basket holding colorful hot air balloons rise en mass to meet the clouds. Every year on the last full weekend in October — Oct. 27-29 this year — a spectacle of balloons lift off the ground and effortlessly float over the orange, amber and yellow leaves just as the sun rises casting a new-day glow onto Taos Mountain (aka Pueblo Peak).
The Taos Mountain Balloon Rally Association, the non-profit group that organizes and puts on the event each year, is a small, dedicated group of volunteers who work nearly year-round to make sure the rally is safe, filled with events and experiences. Visiting pilots, crews and families are given the best in Taos hospitality. Local businesses donate thousands of dollars in sponsorship and lodging for the pilots and crews. Other businesses, artists and crafts people donate prizes, auction items and more. The rally is truly a Taos community event.
This year marks the 35th Annual Taos Mountain Balloon Rally. Smaller than many such events in larger cities, the Taos Mountain Balloon Rally typically hosts 35-50 balloons and crew each year. The rally, primarily because it is smaller and more intimate, has become a popular stop for balloonists, families and crews. The event is very popular with Taoseños, as well. Parents and kids alike get "up close and personal" with the balloonists on Friday and Saturday morning as the crews prepare for launch during mass ascension at 8:15. Tethered rides are offered to schoolchildren on Friday morning and the stunning night-time "Balloomenshine" on Saturday is a must-see. Also on Saturday, the annual parade commences to Kit Carson Park from the launch site, Weimer Field on Albright Street across from The Taos News office and behind the Taos County Administrative/Judicial Complex. A portion of the proceeds go to support the students of Taos with scholarships.
All events are weather permitting.
For more information, go online to taosballoonrally.com or call (575) 758-9210.
Taos Mountain Balloon Rally Schedule
Friday, Oct. 27
Tether Rides for School Children
Pilot/Sponsor/Lodging Gathering Location TBD
Balloon Rally Parade
Starts at TMBRA Field and ends at Kit Carson Park. Picnic to follow.