Hot air balloons begin to take flight from Cielo Grande during the Old Timers Balloon Rally, Saturday morning. (Mark Wilson Photo)
Bright colors, little kids bundled under layers of coats running around and sounds of excitement paint the open field at Cielo Grande Recreation Area. Cold ears and numb fingers haven’t stopped people from waking up before the sun on Saturday to make it to the 26th annual Old Timers Balloon Rally to see nearly 60 balloons inflate and launch into a pure blue sky.
Locals and out-of-town visitors alike have gathered to witness the beautiful takeoff of hot air balloons. There’s AirRageous, a blue balloon with bold purple, green and yellow blocked stripes. Old Yeller, sponsored by Allied Key, is a statement of bright yellow. Hot Stuff, sponsored by CenturyLink, brought New Mexico culture to the rally with her chili pepper design. And another local favorite, To Be II, was sponsored by McDonald’s and was identifiable by an alien, for whom the balloon is Login to read more