Balloons launch at dawn, Saturday and Sunday

Rockie Sanders

We are fast approaching the weekend and the 29th Arkansas Valley Balloon Festival. November 4 and 5, 2017 at sunrise come enjoy the balloons. You can watch them set up, walk around, learn and visit. Just watch for the ropes, do not step over the ropes, and don’t walk on the fabric of the balloon. Please be safe. Take pictures and have fun.

Martin Hill, Jr. plans to tether his hot air balloon Saturday morning so that spectators can see up close how a hot air balloon works. The balloon will be inflated, just like all the other balloons on the field, however, Mr. Hill will have his balloon tied to vehicles (tethered) so that the balloon can not go free flying like the other balloons. The balloon will go up a short distance and then come back to the ground. The air inside the balloon is heated to make it rise using propane burners. By the way, Mr. Hill’s balloon is named C3H8.

Marlena Griesse from the Colorado State University Extension office will be working the 4-H councils to do a workshop Saturday morning at the launch site. The demonstration will show how a hot air balloon works, rather the science behind it. They will be shown how to make small scale hot air balloons from tissue paper. They can take the information home to make their own balloon to launch.

The United Methodist Church will be serving their “Fly-by breakfast” at the launch site next to the Innovative Water Technologies building Saturday morning. They will have coffee and hot chocolate for sale both days.

The balloons will launch at sunrise both days. Because of the time change (don’t forget to set the clocks back before you go to bed), the launch time will be 7:30 a.m. Saturday and 6:30 a.m. Sunday. The new launch site is at Innovative Water Technologies off Highway 202 West of Rocky Ford.

There is also an Arts and Crafts fair at the Gobin Building, downtown Rocky Ford. One can go to the depot plaza following the balloon launch for more fun things. The Rocky Ford Chamber of Commerce is hosting this event.

The event sponsors include: Arkansas Valley Knights of Columbus and Pioneer Health Care Center as Gold Sponsors; 4Rivers Equipment, Joey Thomas and Van Dyk Insurance Agency, Inc as Silver Sponsors; Fowler State Bank and First National Bank of Las Animas – Rocky Ford as Bronze Sponsors. Their sponsorship helps provide for the pilot reception and other events of the weekend.