Colorful hot air balloon festival in Tahmek this weekend

This weekend’s balloon festival in Tahmek is expected to attract 10,000 visitors and fill the sky with colorful creations from artisans. Photo: courtesy

The city of Tahmek is preparing to host its second Festival del Globo Maya.

The balloons will be launched skyward at sunset this Saturday and Sunday. Made from papier-mâché, they are sure to create quite a colorful spectacle.

This will be the second time Tahmek has hosted such an event, but organizers say this year will be bigger and better than ever.

Also participating with their own creations are balloon makers from Mérida and all over Yucatán, Mexico State, Hidalgo, Veracruz, Moreles, Michoacan, Mexico City and as far away as Colombia.

Although the designs of the balloons are varied, one can expect to see several dedicated to San Lorenzo, the patron saint of the city.

Because the balloons featured at the festival are decorative and not aerostatic, they are not capable of lifting passengers for hot air balloon flights.

Earlier: Yucatán tradition and folklore on full display at the colorful Hoctún Cemetery

The town of Tahmek is 40 km east of Mérida, on the Izamal highway. Picture: Google Maps

Nonetheless, organizers say they are confident the event will attract more than 10,000 people and create greater community awareness.

“We are really pulling out all the stops for this event and hope people from all over will come and see what we have worked so hard on,” Tahmek Mayor Neyda Heredia Leal said.

Vendors will sell miniature versions of the balloons taking flight for between 50 and 80 pesos each.

Buses will start running to Tahmek from Mérida at 4 p.m. for 30 pesos at Calle 50 x 62 in Centro. Taxis will also be available for around 200 pesos each way and will carry up to four passengers.

With a population of around 3,600 people, Tahmek is small but full of character and attractions, such as its beautiful church and the nearby archaeological site of Aké.