First South Plains Balloon Rally in 15 Years - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/12/04

First South Plains Balloon Rally in 15 Years

Albuquerque is known not just for it's Southwest image, but also for it's Balloon Fiesta. 700 to 800 balloons fill the sky every year, and thousands all over the globe travel to be a part of it. This is also known to be the most photographed event in the country.

Lubbock and Wolfforth are hosting a similar event right here on the South Plains. Hot air balloon crew member Charlie Brown couldn't be happier. "It still makes for beautiful scenery. Really exciting because you have these 80 to 100 foot tall aero vehicles that are inflating with hot air and the burners are going and you have fans blowing. It's great," said Brown.

"Have you ever been in a hot air balloon yourself?" asked NewsChannel 11. "No ma'am. I have not. I might try it," said Wolfforth Mayor LC Childers. He says he's excited the South Plains Balloon Club chose a field next to Tiger Stadium as the place to launch the area's first balloon rally in many years.

This South Plains Balloon Roundup will be a spectacular show. About 15 to 20 balloons will take part in the event. But what else is spectacular, it's the first balloon rally in 15 years!

Brown says over the years, people lost interest to bring a rally to Lubbock. Also, launching areas started to become sparse. But now, Brown and other hot air balloon enthusiasts hope this will jump start an event that will become an annual one. He says there's nothing more spectacular. "It's beautiful. It's wonderful to be standing in the field you get 10-20 balloons launching around you. It's gorgeous," said Brown.

The event also includes Wolfforth's Harvest Fest. It is free. It will be held Saturday, September 11th. The hot air balloon launch is at 7:30 a.m. Following that is a parade at 9:00 AM.

There will also be live entertainment, arts and crafts and free health screenings. For more information, contact the Wolfforth Chamber at (806) 866-4215.

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