Albuquerque Aloft 2019

At Rio Rancho Balloons Aloft, Balloons Come To Kids
Posted on 09/11/2019

Balloons at Balloons Aloft in Rio RanchoFor nine days each autumn, thousands of people flock to Albuquerque’s Balloon Fiesta Park to see the world’s greatest ballooning event.  But on the tenth day the balloonists return the favor, flocking to schools in Rio Rancho and Albuquerque to share the sport they love with our kids. 

All of Rio Rancho’s elementary schools and Shining Stars Preschool are scheduled to host 22 balloons participating in the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta’s 19th annual “Albuquerque Aloft” celebration.  The event will take place on Friday, October 4, the day before events begin at Balloon Fiesta Park.

Children and families with balloons in background at Balloons Aloft

Balloonists at the schools may elect to fly from the campus or may remain inflated at the school site.  Weather permitting, inflation is scheduled at approximately 6:50 AM, with launch scheduled for about 7:20 AM.  Schools are encouraged to invite parents, staff, and students to be on hand for the event, and parent and staff groups at some schools will have refreshments for sale. 

Albuquerque Aloft – in Rio Rancho often referred to as “Balloons Aloft” -- is the only Balloon Fiesta event in which balloons launch from pre-designated sites outside Balloon Fiesta Park.  Balloons are assigned to participating elementary schools in Albuquerque and Rio Rancho.  The event allows students and families who may not be able to come to the Balloon Fiesta an opportunity to see and learn about hot-air balloons.

Child with hand on burner at Balloons AloftThe following Rio Rancho schools, Balloon Fiesta pilots, and balloons are scheduled (weather permitting) to participate in Balloons Aloft for 2019:

  • Shining Stars Preschool, 4477 9th Ave. NE
    • Rich Lawhorn, Humpty Dumpty, Louisville, KY
    • Don Boyer, Itsy Bitsy, Belen, NM
  • Cielo Azul Elementary School, 3804 Shiloh Rd. NE
    • Michael Carpenter, Sweet Caroline II, Rio Rancho, NM
    • Jane Schill, Whispering Spirit, Albuquerque, NM
  • Colinas del Norte Elementary School, 1001 Night Sky Ave NE
    • Mark Komadina, Never Forget, Corrales, NM
    • Kelly Price, Primary Colors, Rio Rancho, NM
  • Enchanted Hills Elementary School, 5400 Obregon NE
    • Will Fitzpatrick, Integrity, Albuquerque, NM
    • Kevin Haynes, La Cumbia, Bogota, D.C. Colombia
  • Ernest Stapleton Elementary School, 3100 Stapleton Ave. NE
    • Alejandro Bartra, AirMosa, Rio Rancho, NM
    • Scott Vesely and Kim Vesely, Too Grateful, Wylie, TX & Rio Rancho, NM
  • Maggie M. Cordova Elementary School, 1500 Veranda Rd. SE
    • Edward Buzzard, Buzzard’s Roost II, Albuquerque, NM
    • Jay Mason, Flame On, Albuquerque, NM
  • Martin Luther King, Jr., Elementary School, 1301 Nicklaus Dr. SE
    • Ken Beebe, Tortuga del Fuego, Rio Rancho, NM
    • Chris Kenworthy, On The Rocks, Rio Rancho, NM
  • Puesta del Sol Elementary School, 450 Southern Blvd.
    • Ron Curry, 770 KKOB, Corrales, NM
    • Steve Jones, Texas Magic, Belton, TX
  • Rio Rancho Elementary School, 4601 Pepe Ortiz Rd., SE
    • Ryan Davie, Twilight Zone¸ Rio Rancho, NM
    • Rachel Zimmer and Jesse Zimmer, Huckleberry, Rio Rancho, NM
  • Sandia Vista Elementary School, 6800 Franklin Rd. NE
    • James Abell, Kiphaven, San Ramon, CA
    • Mike Gonzales, The Journey, Rio Rancho, NM
  • Vista Grande Elementary School, 7100 Chayote Rd. NE
    • Stacy Eldridge, Redneck Cowboy, Rio Rancho, NM
    • Tony Polito, Bird Willy, Inlet Beach, FL