2022 Santa Fe Trail International Hot Air Balloon Rally at La Mesa Airfield takes flight over Raton – KRTN Enchanted Air Radio

By Marty Mayfield
KRTN Multimedia

Near-perfect weather greeted the balloonist and spectators at the 2022 Santa Fe Trail International Hot Air Balloon Rally held at La Mesa Airfield this July 4 weekend.

Saturday and Sunday, very light winds allowed some pilots to stay close to the field and offer spectators a show that had not been seen for a long time in Raton. Kissing balloons were seen at least twice during the event as the balloons moved slowly across the pitch. The Saturday morning winds allowed the pilots to maneuver their balloons fairly close to the pitch. Low winds on Sunday kept pilots close while winds aloft carried balloon pilots and riders north over Raton. Pilots found landing spots primarily in eastern Raton, a sight that hasn’t appeared in several years of ballooning in Raton.

The Elks Lodge again provided pancakes and sausages for spectators at the event while DJ Teddy Romero provided the air with music and games for the children. The Class of 1972 planned their class reunion for the weekend and sponsored a balloon allowing several of the class to take a first ride in a hot air balloon. It was noted that several out-of-state license plates were seen on the lot.

New Mexico Magazine even ranked the Raton Balloon Rally as their number one event to see during the 4th of July weekend, making Raton one of the hotspots in the state.

Sunday morning inflate and float as the balloons inflated and floated east and south before rising high and drifting north over Raton
Calm, cloudy skies greeted balloonists and spectators on Sunday morning at the Santa Fe Trail International Hot Air Balloon Rally.
It was a beautiful Sunday morning as the balloons began to fill during the International Santa Fe Trail Balloon Rally at La Mesa Airfield
It was a beautiful Sunday morning as the balloons began to fill during the International Santa Fe Trail Balloon Rally at La Mesa Airfield
It was a beautiful Sunday morning as the balloons began to fill during the International Santa Fe Trail Balloon Rally at La Mesa Airfield
One of Nebraska’s newest balloonists Nathan Detroit prepares his balloon Saturday morning.
Balloons inflate Saturday morning during the 2022 Santa Fe Trail International Balloon Rally at La Mesa Airfield
Balloons inflate Saturday morning during the 2022 Santa Fe Trail International Balloon Rally at La Mesa Airfield
A large crowd gathered Saturday morning to watch the balloons inflate during the 2022 Santa Fe Trail International Balloon Rally at La Mesa Airfield
Spectators watch balloons ready to take off Saturday morning at the International Santa Fe Trail Balloon Rally at La Mesa Airfield
Low and Slow Ajuga Dreamer and Green Hornet head south just east of the field during the International Santa Fe Trail Balloon Rally Saturday morning
Yellow is the color as these balloons line up at the Santa Fe Trail International Balloon Rally at La Mesa Airfield Saturday morning
Balloons take off during the 2022 Santa Fe Trail International Hot Air Balloon Rally at La Mesa Airfield
It was a Chamber of Commerce morning as these balloons began to soar above the field Saturday morning during the Santa Fe Trail International Balloon Rally at La Mesa Airfield
Kissing balloons as Lofty and Desert Flying Viking touch each other during takeoff Saturday morning during the Santa Fe Trail International Balloon Rally at La Mesa Airfield
It was a beautiful sunrise that greeted spectators and the balloonist Sunday morning during the Santa Fe Trail International Balloon Rally at La Mesa Airfield
The national anthem was played Sunday morning during the International Santa Fe Trail Balloon Rally at La Mesa Airfield
Burner testing on the Ajuua Dreamers basket Sunday morning at the International Santa Fe Trail Balloon Rally at La Mesa Airfield
Holding the crown is just one of many jobs while inflating hot air balloons at the International Santa Fe Trail Balloon Rally at La Mesa Airfield
Preparing balloons Sunday morning at the International Santa Fe Trail Balloon Rally at La Mesa Airfield
They ride during the Santa Fe Trail International Hot Air Balloon Rally at La Mesa Airfield
Inflate balloons during the International Santa Fe Trail Balloon Rally at La Mesa Airfield
A brief wind buffeted balloons Sunday morning during the International Santa Fe Trail Balloon Rally at La Mesa Airfield
Whoops as the basket hits the Lofty envelope Sunday morning at the Santa Fe Trail International Balloon Rally at La Mesa Airfield
Balloons are inflated and preparing to take off Sunday morning at the International Santa Fe Trail Balloon Rally at La Mesa Airfield
inflated and ready to take off are these three balloons at the International Santa Fe Trail Balloon Rally at La Mesa Airfield
An unexpected treat at the Santa Fe Trail International Hot Air Balloon Rally at La Mesa Airfield is this rider and horse, the horse was dancing to music provided by DJ Teddy Romero on Sunday morning