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Jackson Hole, WY News

Teton Valley Balloon Rally is a toast to the pilots, and a celebration of tradition

Balloonists see more sunrises than most, and they know a brighter dawn is just a day away

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Teton Valley Balloon Rally is a toast to the pilots, and a celebration of tradition

The 41st annual Teton Valley Balloon Rally kicked off Friday with a bit of magic.

Even though flights weren’t possible the first day of the rally due to a foreboding army of clouds, about 20 pilots and their well-caffeinated crews still gathered for a pre-dawn meeting to discuss conditions and exchange affirmations.

Teton Valley Balloon Rally

Pilot Pat Newlin pumps heat into the envelope of her balloon Saturday morning to stand the balloon upright. The Teton Valley Balloon Rally drew pilots from all over the country to fly through the valley. Rain postponed Friday’s flights, but the weather Saturday allowed most everyone to get off the ground.

Teton Valley Balloon Rally

Spectators tailgate to watch balloons take off early Saturday morning.

Teton Valley Balloon Rally

The Teton Valley Balloon Rally attracted 27 pilots from across the country. When fully stocked with four 10-gallon propane tanks, a typical wicker balloon basket weighs about 450 pounds. That load and its passengers are suspended by 77,000 cubic feet of heated air, corralled by a whimsical fabric envelope.

Teton Valley Balloon Rally

A colorful hot air balloon soars during the Teton Valley Balloon Rally, held each Independence Day weekend.

Contact Evan Robinson-Johnson at 732-5901 or

Evan Robinson-Johnson covers issues residents face on a daily basis, from smoky skies to housing insecurity. Originally from New England, he has settled in east Jackson and avoids crowds by rollerblading through the alleyways.

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