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Durango Blog

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The Animas Valley Balloon Rally Lights Up Durango

10 Sep, 2019

Once a year, the Animas Valley fills with the vibrant colors of nearly a dozen hot air balloons. At a time when fall colors are at their peak, the Animas Valley Balloon Rally brings new reason to celebrate the season.

Now in its 4th year, this three-day fall event is both a local and visitor favorite. Attendees enjoy mass balloon ascension events each morning, as well as downtown balloon glows every night.

Whether you’re a photographer, artist, visiting with your family, or looking for a unique way to see Durango’s prettiest sights, the Animas Valley Balloon Rally is a must-witness event. 

When is it?

October 18, 2019 - October 20, 2019

The event will kick off with a Media Flight at 8am, the 18th and conclude with a mass ascension at 8am, the 20th. 

Where is it?

The Mass Ascension and Valley Glow events, where visitors can enjoy balloon views from the colorful Animas Valley, take place from the Hermosa Meadows Road.

The Friday Downtown Glow that kicks off the community event will be hosted at the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad at 479 Main Avenue from 6-9pm. Here, visitors can view hot air balloons lighting up the sky from historic Main Avenue.

How can I get involved?

The event is completely free to the public for spectating. At the Downtown Glow events, you’ll find ‘Candlesticks,’ among the many lit balloons. These balloon basket and burners, without the balloon connected, are for you to experience. Chat with the pilots, who can invite you into the basket to experience the pull of the burner.

For your chance to fly up in a balloon, tethered balloon rides will be available to attendees during the Animas Valley Mass Ascension events. 

You’ll have the opportunity to meet the pilots and watch the balloons inflate at the Saturday Valley Glow, where food vendors will be available.

Friday’s Media Flight event is your opportunity to volunteer as part of a balloon crew. More information can be found at the website’s Schedule of Events page.

What do I bring?

Bring yourself, a warm jacket, your closest friends, family, and camera. This unique event happens only once a year, so capture every moment and spend it with the people who matter most.

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