Love is in the air this weekend at 22nd annual Bluff Balloon Festival

Love is in the air when 22 hot air balloons take flight at the 22nd annual International Bluff Balloon Festival. Flights take to the air on Friday through Sunday, January 17-19 in and around Bluff.

Sponsored by the Business Owners of Bluff (BOB), this annual event attracts balloons, pilots, and crews to drift over the incomparable red rock landscape of southern San Juan County.

Amazing color, awesome spectacle in the sky, approachable pilots, attractive art, ardent supporters, appetizing food fundraisers, appealing events. All things wonderous and all things everchanging with every year.

A series of related events, including three morning lift-offs, educational programs at Bluff Elementary School, a Saturday night Glow-in, and featured evening activities, bring mid-winter excitement to Bluff and vicinity.

The festivities kick off on Thursday at 1 p.m. at Bluff Elementary School, where pilots and volunteers will work with students to create tissue paper balloons.

The first flights are Friday morning with a Bluff flyover. The pilot orientation will begin at 7:30 a.m. at the Bluff Community Center, with flights leaving soon afterwards.  

Balloons fly in the early morning air across Bluff, taking off all around town to fly whichever way the air flows. 

On Friday evening, Bluff Elementary School will host a Navajo Taco dinner at the Community Center. The dinner begins at 5 p.m. The annual Navajo Taco supper fundraiser helps fund student trips and projects. Great food and entertainment make for an evening of fun with friends while supporting the school.

Saturday is a busy day with a Bluff flyover beginning at 7:30 a.m. Follow the balloons as they dot the sky with color and get up-close and personal as they touch down nearby. Then visit the Balloon Festival Art Market from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. where you can shop for beautiful, hand-crafted art from local artists.

From 4 to 6:30 p.m. there will be bowls of hot chili and bowls of cold ice cream for sale at the Community Center outdoor kitchen.

Enjoy the music of Neon Natives as you finish your treats to the hypnotic Glow-in of the tethered balloons lighting up the sky at sundown.

The popular Glow-in will take place from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

On the final day of the festival, Sunday, January 19, the activities begin at 7 a.m. with a caravan to the vast beauty of Valley of the Gods. Watch as the balloons enhance the red-rock desert with their color and beauty. 

All events during the festival will be held at the Bluff Community Center.  All flights are weather-permitting.

Evony Sampson, a fifth-grade student at Bluff Elementary School, had her art chosen for the Bluff Balloon Festival poster.

Lucelia Benally, a fifth-grade student at Bluff Elementary School, had her art chosen for the Bluff Balloon Festival shirt.

Sponsors include La Posada Pintada, Puebla Tierra, Twin Rocks Café, The Good Line, Stone Lizard Lodging, Roring Family, Hole-in-the-Rock Foundation, Ann Leppanen, Bill Crowder, Frances Van der Stappen, Desert Rose Inn, Adventure Wealth Advisors, Sandy Millard, Community Rebuilds, Vincent Wilcox, Martha Rice, Dan and Ruth Harris, Silver Coin Car Wash, Treece family, Running Horse Pipeline, Rocky Mountain Power, San Juan Health Services, Shamrock Foods, San Juan Record, Susan Burke, and Jen Deschamps.

San Juan Record

49 South Main St
PO Box 879
Monticello, UT 84535

Phone: 435.587.2277
Fax: 435.587.3377
Open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday