The 44th Annual Huff ‘n Puff Balloon Rally begins on Friday evening, September 6th, at the Mount Hope Balloon Field, located at 1300 SW Fairlawn Rd in Topeka. For three days, twenty-two balloonists from all over the region will call Topeka home as they provide attendees with a behind-the-scenes look at their sport.
“It starts Friday evening, September 6th, and goes through Sunday morning,” said Great Plains Balloon Club President Lori Hutchinson. “We changed the layout of our field this year. We’ve brought everybody more into the center of the field because there are eighty acres out there. So, we have forty vendors, some who are new, and we are excited to share that with you all.”
The event began randomly over four decades ago.
“It began a long, long time ago,” said Hutchinson. “We are in our 44th year. It just so happens that some balloonists got together and started a rally and it’s continued on from there. Locations may change every once in a while but we’re still going strong.”
Every year, the Rally, which is free of charge to the public, has something new for attendees to see and to do. This year is no different.
“We have a balloon discovery workshop that will be around 4 on Saturday afternoon,” said Hutchinson. “That’s a pre-registered event where we have four pilots who will help kids walk through what it’s like (to be a pilot). They’ll also learn about the science and how it all works”
The most popular part of the Rally is during the evening because of an event known as, “Afterglows”.
“Our busiest (times) are the evenings because we, hopefully, do a balloon flight and then a balloon glow afterward,” said Hutchinson.
For more information about the 2019 Huff ‘n Puff Balloon Rally, visit www.huff-n-puff.org.