Is there anything quite as enthralling as hot air balloons? Every year, on the third weekend in September, the Alamogordo Center of Commerce hosts the most spectacular airlift in southern New Mexico. Colorful balloons rise up into the air from White Sands National Park, while in town the Red Dirt Music Festival and family-friendly activities draw locals and visitors by the thousands for a two-day celebration like no other. The White Sands Balloon and Music Festival will take to the skies on September 15 – 17, 2023.
The festival had its beginnings in 1992, when airpark namesake Ed Brabson oversaw the very first liftoff of 18 balloons. Since then, the annual invitational has grown to include more than 40, and sometimes as many as 60, hot air balloons, with sponsorships from the City of Alamogordo, the business community and the New Mexico tourism department. Balloonists from throughout the southwest take part in the event, and visitors come from far and wide to enjoy both the spectacle and the fun. Between music, activities, tournaments, and contests, the family-friendly event is a full weekend experience.
This year’s invitational begins on Friday, September 15 at Ed Brabson Balloon Park in Alamogordo, with live music beginning at 6 p.m. On Saturday, September 16, the first mass ascension takes place at 7 a.m. from the balloon park, with live music starting at noon. On Sunday, September 17, the festival moves to White Sands National Park, where weather permitting the second mass ascension takes place at 7 a.m., creating one of the most photographed spectacles of the year.
The musical lineup for the Red Dirt Music Festival delivers the goods, serving up generous portions of Texas Country, Red Dirt, Americana and good old fashioned Rock n Roll. For more information, including new acts added as the date grows closer, check out the Featured Bands page.
Another layer of excitement is added via the 5k Fun Run/Walk, which starts and finishes at Jim R. Griggs Sports Complex next to Hang Glider Park in Alamogordo. The usual start time is 8 a.m. for the youth one mile run on Fairgrounds road, followed closely by the adult 5k run at 8:30 a.m. Presented as part of the White Sands Balloon and Music Festival, by the Alamogordo Center of Commerce, awards are presented to the winners of each race.
For more information about the White Sands Balloon and Music Festival, visit the website, or call 575-437-6120 or 800-826-0294.
Posted by LasCruces.com