For the past 33 years, hot air balloon pilots and spectators
have been visiting the Teton Valley every summer for their annual hot air
balloon rally. The management of the rally has changed hands a few times and
the current managers could use your support.
Anheuser Busch started the rally in 1981, they handed it off
to the Teton Valley Chamber of Commerce and in 2012 “The Hot Crew” took over
“Margaret, Candy and I are all volunteers and we are all
small business owners,” said Event Director Virginia Powell Symons. “And we are
running our own businesses while we are running this event.”
The three women came together because of their love for this
“What an incredible marriage of art and science this is,”
continued Symons. “There’s nothing quite as stunning as standing with 20 hot
air balloons going up around you, watching the Teton Valley sunrise.”
But without the deep pockets of Budweiser or even the
chamber, it’s always a struggle to keep the event afloat.
“We are so grateful for the sponsors that we do get and we
would appreciate more,” said Controller Candy Davis. “We need more.”
While a few more corporate sponsors would certainly help pay
the bills, the Hot Crew says there is always a need for volunteers. The issue
isn’t getting balloon pilots to come. It’s all the other activities that have
helped build this multiday event into what it is today.
“This is the most stunning place to fly,” said Balloon Pilot
Margaret Rose Breffeilh. “This is why we have balloon pilots that have been
coming here for 33 years, year after year, to come fly in this valley because
it’s one of the most beautiful places to fly. It’s one of the safest places to
fly and it’s one of the friendliest places to fly.”
The Hot Crew says safety is always a priority and that the
Teton Valley is one of the safest places to fly a hot air balloon because there
aren’t too many overhead power lines and the winds are usually favorable during
that time of year.
You can learn more about the rally at this link.