KLAQ 95.5FM has decided to move the annual Memorial Day weekend tradition, the El Paso Balloon Festival, to a new date and location, to be determined. We’re looking at the holiday season or Martin Luther King Weekend as our best window to attract hot air balloons to the El Paso region. The competition for bringing in hot air balloons and world class rock concerts on the same weekend as the numerous festivals and events, we’ve decided it would be an injustice to our listeners and the community as a whole to bring in a subpar event with less and less balloons. Instead, we decided to remake, reinvent, and re-introduce Balloonfest in the near future at the best possible launch sites. Last year many worked to bring the event to northeast El Paso and the beautiful historic Bowen Ranch, a fully working cattle ranch. However, the terrain’s frequent severe cacti is a bad match for the hot air balloon envelopes. All in all, we wished it would have worked out, but that part of El Paso is not built for this type of event.

A location is challenging due to the border, the mountains, FAA no fly zones, severe desert cacti, etc. We’re looking to return to the Westside of the mountains or possibly far east El Paso, again depending on ground and flight abilities. Aside from the hot air balloons, we’re looking at optimum times for band availability for our Balloonfest concerts. We’ve rocked El Paso for 31 years of balloons, 30 years with concerts, waterslides, and more.

El Paso is growing and so is KLAQ! Recent events enriching our community include the EL Paso Downtown Street Festival, the Sun City Bacon festival, the free Cool Canyon Nights Music Series, the KLAQ Halloween Parade, Holidays on Ice, A Taste of El Paso, the Insane Inflatable 5K, A Chocolate Affair, and the Mexican Food Cook-Off featuring the Battle of the Rock N’ Roll mariachis just to name a few.

The idea is to get it right. Sometimes you need to take a time out, think about it and then jump back in when it makes sense. Balloonfest…gone for this Memorial Day weekend, but not for good!