March 13, 2009 by  
Filed under Events

New Mexico ballooning photo courtesy turtlemom4bacon, Creative commons license

If you love hot air ballooning and October seems too far off to even contemplate, check out the best early-season balloon festival going: the St. Patrick’s Day Balloon Rallye in Los Lunas.

Celebrating its 25th year, this balloon fiestita boasts about 70 hot air balloons lifting off over two days (weather permitting), plus free music, arts and crafts fair, kids’ activities, and food booths. As if that weren’t enough, the Valencia Flying and Retrieval Society is collecting donations for the Valencia Shelter for Victims of Domestic Violence. So, you can enjoy great family fun while supporting a worthy cause!

The 25th annual St. Patrick’s Day Balloon Rallye will be held Saturday and Sunday, March 14 and 15, beginning with sunrise mass ascensions each day at 7:00am. The events are held at Morris Field, Highway 314 & Morris Rd in Los Lunas.

Our recommended driving directions may add a few minutes to your trip, but the scenery is worth it: from Albuquerque, take I-25 south to the NM 47 exit (Isleta Resort & Casino). Take NM 47 across the pueblo (watch for cranes gleaning the fields in the early morning), through Bosque Farms and Peralta, and into Los Lunas. At the stoplight where NM 47 turns toward the south, continue straight ahead; you’ll be traveling west on NM 6 (Main Street). Follow NM 6 to its junction with NM 314. Turn south on NM 314 to Morris Road. Enjoy!

P.S. — We enthusiastically recommend breakfast at Henrietta’s Dining & Coffee Shop on Main Street. Watch for it on the north side of the street just east of NM 314.

–Elizabeth Hanes


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