The 25th Great Prosser Balloon Rally Prosser Airport, Washington2022 33rd Great Prosser Balloon Rally Prosser Washington Airport
Every year the City of Prosser Washington holds the Great Prosser Balloon Rally during the month of September. This year the event will take place the weekend of the 23rd-25th, Friday, lasting through Sunday. Those of you who are early risers will enjoy the sunrise liftoffs each morning at 6:15, Friday-Sunday. The sunrise launches take place at the Prosser Airport. But if you are not one of those people who enjoy waking up early then come to the Night glow on Saturday evening at Art Fiker Stadium. Gates will open at 6:00pm.

More about the Great Prosser Balloon Rally
During the Night Glow, the Balloons are not flying but they are anchored and illuminated to glow against the night sky. Balloon Pilots from all over the Northwest come out every year for this annual event. This event is free and a great way to get out with the whole family or maybe just a few friends.

Not only is the Balloon Rally going on but along with it will be the Farmer’s Market on Friday from 8:00am to Noon and the Caren Mercer-Andreason Street Painting Festival. The street painting festival is held in conjunction with the Balloon Rally. Local and regional artists will come to create works of art on the pavement using special pastels. Come and bring a meander around the artists or bring a lawn chair and watch while you listen to a variety of musical entertainment.

From KEPR's website:

The 33rd annual Great Prosser Balloon Rally takes to the skies this weekend.

Patrons from across the area gathered this morning for the sunrise launch of the balloon Rally. 17 balloons are taking off this weekend and gracing the skies with all kinds of designs.

Morgan Everett Chairman of the Great Prosser Balloon Rally says. "You can see them anywhere in Prosser, there are great places for pictures on the bridge, and you can watch the balloons splash and dash in the river. They'll touch down in the river and then take off, it's just beautiful."

From the vineyards to the Yakima river, organizers say Prosser is the perfect place to fly.

Besides the location, pilots say that you also need the perfect weather in order to be safe getting off the ground.

At events like this, field pilots use a small helium balloon called a pi-ball. The balloon is sent up to test wind levels at launch. If the pi-ball gently floats after a certain height, it's safe to fly.

Pilots say it can be dangerous to launch a balloon with even a little too much wind.

Luckily, calm skies this morning as the pilots took to the skies.

Mandy Johnson, one of the hot air balloon pilots this year says. "Once you get up in the air, it's just so magical. It's like flying like a bird."

Balloons can stay in the sky anywhere from twenty minutes to an hour and a half.

Being in the sky isn't the only part of it though, a dedicated team of friends and family follow the pilot throughout the flight. They are simply called the chase team.

During flight the pilot keeps in radio contact throughout to relay location and to coordinate landings. With no standard method of steering on board, you go where the wind takes you, making the chase team an important part of hot air ballooning.

Johnson says. "There's a lot of teamwork involved, so a lot of people come around, super great interacting with everybody."

If you missed Fridays launch, you can catch the pilots this weekend taking off both Saturday and Sunday at around 6:30 a.m. weather permitting. This is a free family friendly event. Saturday evening at 6 p.m. is night glow where the balloons illuminate the night sky.

If you are looking for more information about the event visit the Prosser Balloon Rally website.

Posted by Colleen Lane on

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