Pilots gather in Farmington to reboot Four Corners Balloon Rally

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FARMINGTON, N.M. — Colorful balloons popped up all over Farmington Friday morning to kick off the Four Corners Balloon Rally.

The event first started in the ’70s and has been absent from the area for roughly 20 years.

To help Farmington make new ballooning memories, pilots from across the country came to Four Corners for the weekend. Rich Lawhorn traveled all the way from Kentucky to fly the western skies.

“The balloon meister here, Doug Lenberg, is a good friend of mine and when he called months ago and said he was trying to get this restarted, and would I bring the special shape to help him do it – we were more than happy to,” Lawhorn said.

That special shape, Humpty Dumpty, is Lawhorn’s favorite flying companion.

“He was made in 1997 in England, in Bristol, England, and he turned into an U.S. registration balloon and I have been flying him around the world for the last 24 years,” Lawhorn said.

The gentle giant will soar the Four Corners skies for the first time this weekend.

“Every place is a little different so everything is a new adventure,” Lawhorn added. “I am looking forward to flying in this beautiful area and getting up and seeing what colors we have here, and entertaining the people of Farmington this morning.”

Although these balloons effortlessly decorate the landscape, it takes hard work to make it happen.

“It was a good workout, a lot of manual labor getting these balloons up and down,” said Ken Lacasse, who woke up early to volunteer at the rally.

Lacasse added that the hard work paid off.

“This balloon that we did, the Humpty Dumpty, was very large much larger than I anticipated it but it was really nice to see it blown up,” Lacasse said.

The Four Corners Balloon Rally lasts until Sunday. Humpty Dumpty’s next stop will be at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, which begins next weekend.