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July 4th Brings Balloon Rally, Fireworks and Fun in the Park to Raton

By Marty Mayfield

KRTN Multi-Media

Friday Morning

Its that time again and this morning’s weather was great for ballooning as this reporter got to go up with Tom Gardner in Ajuua Dreamer. While the winds weren’t the most cooperative the flight was quiet and peaceful.

This year’s balloon rally looks to be another great year with 18 balloons and even a couple of sponsors from as far away as Tyler, Texas.

Stay tuned to KRTN as we will bring you updates with photos video and even on the radio remote broadcasts Saturday and Monday mornings.

Saturday Morning

Today;’s weather didn’t disappoint as the crowd gathered at the old La Mesa Airfield to watch, join in as crew or even get a ride as Raton’s very own Frankie Mahannah took to the skies with Balloon Pilot Loretta Zamora in Saki Bomber Saturday morning.

It was Frankie’s first ever balloon ride and as they prepared for lift off Frankie sported a grin from ear to ear. Not knowing what he was in for as he commented that all his friends were feeding all kinds of horror stories. But Frankie braved it and landed safely after a short flight. You see Frankie has a fear of heights and as most people who do have that fear find that a balloon ride doesn’t bother them at all. Frankie noted after the flight it didn’t bother him at all and he would do it again if given the chance.

After the flight Pilot Loretta Zamora commented on Frankie’s time in the air as he was great. She asked him if he wanted to go higher and he replied, “no this is fine.” You could tell that Frankie was filled with joy almost to a point of tears he was so happy as he recalled the flight. Zamora commented later that she had such a great time taking Frankie up, this is what it is all about, making memories.

16 of the 18 balloons took to the skies while a couple stayed behind to tether and give kids rides in the balloon. Chris Valentini also noted that they had a sponsor from as far away as Tyler, Texas this year. The Class of 1976 also sponsored a balloon so classmates who haven’t taken a ride, could. The Kowalskis also sponsored a balloon to celebrate their 50th anniversary.

Sunday Morning

Sunday morning brought another great day for the 2016 International Santa Fe Trail Balloon Rally at La Mesa Airfield in south Raton.

As balloonist gathered for the morning briefing a breeze began to blow but only lasted a few minutes delaying lift off of 16 balloons Sunday Morning. Once the wind died down balloons inflated and drifted off to the south south east of the field many ending up south of the airfield along the interstate. Janet Rusler inflated her balloon “Vacation” and gave tethered rides to the kiddos that had gathered on the field. To see the excitement and joy of these kids is quite a sight.

Monday Morning

Brenda Ferri, Raton MainStreet Executive Director, noted it has been another successful balloon rally Monday morning as balloonist and spectators gathered on the La Mesa Airfield for the final day of the 3-day event.

Again winds stiffened up as pilots gathered for the morning pilot’s briefing blowing in a southeasterly direction toward restricted ranch land. Pilot Jerry Graff noted that of all the rallies he flies at its hurry and get in the air but here in Raton its better to be patient and wait the wind will change as it did later in the morning. Several pilots delayed lift off allowing spectators and crew alike to visit and learn more about the sport of ballooning.

DJ Teddy Romero provided the music for the morning and the event. He brought along some fun for the kiddos with a hula hoop contest and shoe kicking contest each day and they even gathered enough participants for a tug of war on Saturday.

Once Pilots returned to the field they had a small closing ceremony bringing to an end the 2016 International Santa Fe Trail Balloon Rally.

Raton’s First Street came alive just before noon with the annual 4th of July parade moving north toward Ripley Park. This year’s Parade Marshals were, Oscar Nauta, Johnny Bacca, and Virgil Buscarini, all three gentlemen are WWII Veterans. The activities continued at Ripley Park with Fun in the Park. DJ Teddy Romero started the fun off with music and a hula hoop contest for the kiddos followed by a couple of tug of war contests.

Beverly Baca continued the music fun with Karaoke in the park followed by Levi Creek from Trinidad.

Video of some of the sights and sounds of the 2016 International Santa Fe Trail Balloon Rally

Friday’s Photos and Video

The new block wall at the RHS practice field The view courtesy of Tom Gardner and Ajuua Dreamer

The new block wall at the RHS practice field The view courtesy of Tom Gardner and Ajuua Dreamer

 

Raton's Ball Fields from above. The view courtesy of Tom Gardner and Ajuua Dreamer

Raton’s Ball Fields from above. The view courtesy of Tom Gardner and Ajuua Dreamer

 

After all these year the Miner's Colfax Medical Center Long Term Care facility it still looks pretty good. The view from Tom Gardner's Balloon Ajuua Dreamer Friday morning.

After all these year the Miner’s Colfax Medical Center Long Term Care facility it still looks pretty good. The view from Tom Gardner’s Balloon Ajuua Dreamer Friday morning.

 

The south I-25 interchange construction project is coming along The view courtesy of Tom Gardner and Ajuua Dreamer

The south I-25 interchange construction project is coming along The view courtesy of Tom Gardner and Ajuua Dreamer

 

Saturday’s Photos and Video

Patrick Dyer and Bob Mantz serving up those cakes and patties Saturday morning at the 2016 International Santa Fe Trail Balloon Rally

Patrick Dyer and Bob Mantz serving up those cakes and patties Saturday morning at the 2016 International Santa Fe Trail Balloon Rally

 

The hot air goes in as Pilot James Morgan heats up the balloon.

The hot air goes in as Pilot James Morgan heats up the balloon.

 

Mike and Sara Kowalski sponsored a balloon to celebrate their 50th anniversary this year at the 2016 International Santa Fe Trail Balloon Rally

Mike and Sara Kowalski sponsored a balloon to celebrate their 50th anniversary this year at the 2016 International Santa Fe Trail Balloon Rally

 

Frankie Mahannah gets his very first balloon ride with Pilot Loretta Zamora in Saki Bomber Saturday morning

Frankie Mahannah gets his very first balloon ride with Pilot Loretta Zamora in Saki Bomber Saturday morning

 

Balloons inflate on what was being called an great morning for flying.

Balloons inflate on what was being called an great morning for flying.

 

Sunrise Angel and Fuego Encantado brighten up the sky at the 2016 International Santa Fe Trail Balloon Rally

Sunrise Angel and Fuego Encantado brighten up the sky at the 2016 International Santa Fe Trail Balloon Rally

 

Frankie stands by as they inflate the Saki bomber at the 2016 International Santa Fe Trail Balloon Rally

Frankie stands by as they inflate the Saki bomber at the 2016 International Santa Fe Trail Balloon Rally

 

Its been a long time coming and as Frankie put it one of the best times of his life as he gets his first balloon ride with pilot Loretta Zamora.

Its been a long time coming and as Frankie put it one of the best times of his life as he gets his first balloon ride with pilot Loretta Zamora.

 

Back safely on the ground after a what Frankie called a wonderful flight

Back safely on the ground after a what Frankie called a wonderful flight

 

Its a tradition in ballooning that all first time riders have an initiation ceremony after their first ride. Here the ballooning prayer and story are passed on to Frankie as he prepares for the ceremonial drink.. Photo By Martha Gonzales

Its a tradition in ballooning that all first time riders have an initiation ceremony after their first ride. Here the ballooning prayer and story are passed on to Frankie as he prepares for the ceremonial drink..
Photo By Martha Gonzales

 

A toast for Frankie on his first balloon ride. Photo by Martha Gonzales

A toast for Frankie on his first balloon ride.
Photo by Martha Gonzales

Sunday Morning Photos

A view from the inside Sunday morning during the 2016 International Santa Fe Trail Balloon Rally

A view from the inside Sunday morning during the 2016 International Santa Fe Trail Balloon Rally

 

Sunday morning balloons inflate to what turned out to be another great morning for flying.

Sunday morning balloons inflate to what turned out to be another great morning for flying.

 

The crowds were a bit smaller but none the less enthusiastic than Saturday as balloons got a delayed start due to surface winds.

The crowds were a bit smaller but none the less enthusiastic than Saturday as balloons got a delayed start due to surface winds.

 

Balloons encircle the Seeking Nirvana balloon as upper winds carried balloons to the south east during the 2016 International Santa Fe Trail Balloon Rally

Balloons encircle the Seeking Nirvana balloon as upper winds carried balloons to the south east during the 2016 International Santa Fe Trail Balloon Rally

 

Wonderful weather has once again graced the 2016 International Santa Fe Trail Balloon Rally as balloons inflate and lift off Sunday morning.

Wonderful weather has once again graced the 2016 International Santa Fe Trail Balloon Rally as balloons inflate and lift off Sunday morning.

 

Seeking Nirvana sponsored by the Class of 1976 drifts south of the La Mesa Airfield Sunday morning

Seeking Nirvana sponsored by the Class of 1976 drifts south of the La Mesa Airfield Sunday morning

 

From inside "Vacation", piloted by Janet Rusler, as prepares the envelope for heat and tethered rides for the kiddos

From inside “Vacation”, piloted by Janet Rusler, as prepares the envelope for heat and tethered rides for the kiddos

 

The kiddos are lined up waiting for Vacation, piloted by Janet Rusler to start giving tethered rides to the kiddos Sunday morning at the 2016 International Santa Fe Trail Balloon Rally

The kiddos are lined up waiting for Vacation, piloted by Janet Rusler to start giving tethered rides to the kiddos Sunday morning at the 2016 International Santa Fe Trail Balloon Rally

 

Monday Morning July 4th Photos and Video

Posting of the colors Monday morning was performed by the Young Marines

Posting of the colors Monday morning was performed by the Young Marines

 

The Young Marines post the colors for the Monday edition of the 2016 International Santa Fe Trail Balloon Rally

The Young Marines post the colors for the Monday edition of the 2016 International Santa Fe Trail Balloon Rally

 

Jacob Sanchez sang the National Anthem Monday morning at the 2016 International Santa Fe Trail Balloon Rally

Jacob Sanchez sang the National Anthem Monday morning at the 2016 International Santa Fe Trail Balloon Rally

Pilot Bill Dimmitt heats up the balloon Sunrise Angel as spectators congregation the La Mesa Airfield. Winds once again delayed lift off of many of the balloons.

Pilot Bill Dimmitt heats up the balloon Sunrise Angel as spectators congregation the La Mesa Airfield. Winds once again delayed lift off of many of the balloons.

 

In Memory of Jan Strnad crew sports the red, white and blue colors Monday morning.

In Memory of Jan Strnad crew sports the red, white and blue colors Monday morning.

 

Up and away as Saki Bomber and Highlighter float south. Winds changed directions several times during the morning with many balloons delaying light off waiting for more favorable winds.

Up and away as Saki Bomber and Highlighter float south. Winds changed directions several times during the morning with many balloons delaying light off waiting for more favorable winds.

 

The Green Hornet, Saki Bomber and Highlighter float away to the south Monday morning during the 2016 International Santa Fe Trail Balloon Rally

The Green Hornet, Saki Bomber and Highlighter float away to the south Monday morning during the 2016 International Santa Fe Trail Balloon Rally

 

Another nice morning greeted spectators and balloonist alike as the many balloons floated south.

Another nice morning greeted spectators and balloonist alike as the many balloons floated south.

 

Long time supporters of the balloon rally pilot Greg Garcia is Angelo and Alice Pais who have created their own balloon crew with help from kids, grandkids and now a great grand child joins the crew.

Long time supporters of the balloon rally pilot Greg Garcia is Angelo and Alice Pais who have created their own balloon crew with help from kids, grandkids and now a great grand child joins the crew.

 

SquawkUrs makes a meal of it as Greg Garcia's balloon Good Grief finds itself in the beak.

SquawkUrs makes a meal of it as Greg Garcia’s balloon Good Grief finds itself in the beak.

 

SquawkUrs up close and personal Monday morning at the 2016 International Santa Fe Trail Balloon Rally

SquawkUrs up close and personal Monday morning at the 2016 International Santa Fe Trail Balloon Rally

July 4th Parade on 1st Street followed by Fun in the Park sponsored by Raton MainStreet

THE VFW Color Guard present the colors during the July 4th Parade on First Street Monday

THE VFW Color Guard present the colors during the July 4th Parade on First Street Monday

 

Parade Marshals, Oscar Nauta, Johnny Bacca, and Virgil Buscarini. All three gentlemen are WWII Veterans...

Parade Marshals, Oscar Nauta, Johnny Bacca, and Virgil Buscarini. All three gentlemen are WWII Veterans…

 

The Young Marines in the July 4th Parade chant marching cadence lead by Zoey Gomez

The Young Marines in the July 4th Parade chant marching cadence lead by Zoey Gomez

 

The 2016 10-11 year old all stars softball team

The 2016 10-11 year old all stars softball team

 

The Class of 1976 ride the parade for their 40th class reunion.

The Class of 1976 ride the parade for their 40th class reunion.

 

DJ Teddy Romero gets the kiddos involved in the Fun in the Park with a hula hoop contest

DJ Teddy Romero gets the kiddos involved in the Fun in the Park with a hula hoop contest

 

Its bouncy house time for these young's at Fun in the Park on July 4th

Its bouncy house time for these young’s at Fun in the Park on July 4th

 

Lets cool off with this kids as they play in the bubble.

Lets cool off with this kids as they play in the bubble.

July 4th Fireworks in Raton NM

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Raton NM July 4th 2016 Fireworks display presented by the Raton Fire and Emergency Services

 

Raton NM July 4th 2016 Fireworks display presented by the Raton Fire and Emergency Services

Raton NM July 4th 2016 Fireworks display presented by the Raton Fire and Emergency Services

 

Raton NM July 4th 2016 Fireworks display presented by the Raton Fire and Emergency Services

Raton NM July 4th 2016 Fireworks display presented by the Raton Fire and Emergency Services

 

Raton NM July 4th 2016 Fireworks display presented by the Raton Fire and Emergency Services

Raton NM July 4th 2016 Fireworks display presented by the Raton Fire and Emergency Services

 

Raton NM July 4th 2016 Fireworks display presented by the Raton Fire and Emergency Services

Raton NM July 4th 2016 Fireworks display presented by the Raton Fire and Emergency Services

 

Raton NM July 4th 2016 Fireworks display presented by the Raton Fire and Emergency Services

Raton NM July 4th 2016 Fireworks display presented by the Raton Fire and Emergency Services

 

Raton NM July 4th 2016 Fireworks display presented by the Raton Fire and Emergency Services

Raton NM July 4th 2016 Fireworks display presented by the Raton Fire and Emergency Services

 

Raton NM July 4th 2016 Fireworks display presented by the Raton Fire and Emergency Services

Raton NM July 4th 2016 Fireworks display presented by the Raton Fire and Emergency Services

 

Raton NM July 4th 2016 Fireworks display presented by the Raton Fire and Emergency Services

Raton NM July 4th 2016 Fireworks display presented by the Raton Fire and Emergency Services

2 comments on “July 4th Brings Balloon Rally, Fireworks and Fun in the Park to Raton

  1. Kathy Harris says:

    Love these photo of the holiday celebration in Raton! Thank you Marty Mayfield for all your wonderful pictures and coverage of the many wonderful events in Raton, its very much appreciated!

  2. guy solano says:

    good pictures guys