Four Corners Balloon Rally kicks off weekend of music and flights – The Durango Herald

The rally includes a concert by The Guess Who, daily launches

Pilot Daniel Backes and his wife, Jenifer, of Florence, Arizona, plan to launch their balloon Saturday and Sunday morning in Farmington during the Four Corners Hot Air Balloon Rally. (David Edward Albright/Durango Herald)

A handful of balloons were lifted into clear skies Friday morning over Lake Farmington, kicking off an inaugural three-day festival that will feature live music on Saturday night by popular 1970s rock band The Guess Who and will feature vendors and sparkle balloons on Friday and Saturday nights.

Each morning a mass ascent will kick off the eventful weekend, weather permitting. As of Friday, 21 balloonists had registered for the rally, said Georgette Allen, Farmington’s public affairs administrator.

For pilot Daniel Backes of Florence, Arizona, the Four Corners Hot Air Balloon Rally gives him and his wife, Jenifer, the chance to indulge in their favorite recreational activity.

“I grew up around it all my life, got my student pilot license at 14,” Backes said, “and logged a lifetime of hours (in a hot air balloon). Then, a few years ago, I was able to afford my own ball.

He and Jenifer participated in hot air ballooning events in Deming, New Mexico, and Windsor, Colorado earlier this year. But the Farmington rally “starts the season”, Daniel Backes said.

Morning winds kept the Backes from getting airborne on Friday, but the pair expected no obstacles Saturday and Sunday.

Their next destination is the Albuquerque International Balloon Festival, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary from October 1-9.

In addition to the morning flights, spectators can expect a weekend of sights and sounds during the rally.

After the glow of the balloons from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday in the Henderson fine arts Center parking lot, Patrick Sieben, Emmy Award-winning singer and songwriter, and his band, Patrick and the Las Vegas Bandperformed at Henderson Hall at San Juan Community College.

The famous group, which includes a horn section, performs a mix of pop, classic hits and original songs. Sieben has performed with bands such as Bon Jovi, One Republic, The Chainsmokers, Vanilla Ice, Toto and Yes in venues around the world.

His new hit “Sunshine“, of his second release, “Under the Neon Lights”, is heating up in England. The public is invited to sing and dance in the aisles.

A mass climb from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Saturday and a balloon glow at Justis Park from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. will be followed by The Guess Who. The group, originally from Canada, is known for hits such as ‘These Eyes’, ‘Laughing’, ‘American Woman’, ‘No Sugar Tonight’, ‘Hand Me Down World’ and ‘Share the Land’.

The City of Farmington is hosting the 2022 event, with the help of local business sponsorships.

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