Dee Balloon III Hot Air Balloon
There is something mesmerizing about a hot air balloon listing through the sky. They are beacons captivating children and adults alike with their vibrant colors and the skill of their pilots. People gather from all over for ballooning events, none of which bigger or more famous than the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. This annual event takes place in Albuquerque, New Mexico and is the premier hot air balloon festival especially for pilots from all over. Today we will be looking at the Fiesta and one of the iconic balloons that attends it: the Dee Balloon III. The Dee Balloon III Hot Air Balloon and its pilot, Tim Taylor, are famous in the skies. Tim shed some light on the festival and, surprisingly, what lapel pins mean to him and other balloonists. PinProsPlus is here to share that with you!
The Dee Balloon III taking off for Dawn Patrol.
The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
This famous hot air balloon festival began in 1972 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of 770 KOB radio. They started with 13 balloons and have grown to over 500 participants annually. The fiesta offers many activities and spectacles. Some facts and offerings of the festival:
- Takes place in the beginning of October, lasting 9 days (the 2015 schedule was from the 3rd-11th).
- Dawn Patrol – Pilots fly their balloons (illuminating them) until the morning when it’s safe to land, checking wind conditions and rivaling the stars for beauty.
- Mass Ascension – All the balloons take off in two waves, filling the sky with hundreds of balloons at once.
- Music Fiesta – A grand concert that takes place on the last Saturday of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. 2015’s headliner was the Band Perry as the main act changes yearly.
- Balloon Glows – In the morning and night, pilots turn on their burners and light up their balloons while still on the ground.
The International Balloon Fiesta offers so much more than simply that. Its fame continues growing, showing up on major news sources like NBC. Tim Taylor of the Dee Balloon III even said this about the latest Fiesta: “…it was the best Fiesta of my life. We flew all 9 days. That never happens!” Pilots from all over love this festival and it’s clear why.
Dee Balloon III Hot Air Balloon
Tim Taylor of the Dee Balloon III Hot Air Balloon is a pilot from Utah. He has been flying balloons for 28 years and his most iconic is the American Flag balloon, the Dee Balloon III. He is no stranger to balloon festivals, flying at events in the mountain states and west coast (10-13 per year). And when he’s not at a festival, you can still find him flying the rest of the year. He has the special honor of being part of the Dawn Patrol at the International Balloon Fiesta. There are only about 25 balloonists in the world certified to fly at night. Not only is Tim one of those select few of great skill, but he has a blast doing it. When speaking with him you can feel his passion for the craft and that it is something everyone can enjoy, in air, on land, or over media streams. Tim shares his fire with all of those around him in the ballooning world. He has children around when he sets up the Dee Balloon III so they can see firsthand the magic that he feels. And Tim is no stranger to spreading the love. He realizes that maintaining a hot air balloon takes more than one man. He gives credit to his crew whenever possible. His and their fervor for flying inspires those around them to feel the rush that comes from being part of the Dee Balloon III.
Tim also explains what lapel pins have to do with hot air balloons. Normally they seem like dissonant concepts, but there is a tradition between these two practices. Enamel pins (or any other type) are classic promotional items. They are usually distributed when the pilot flies with someone else (usually a guest who takes the pin as a token of remembrance). Pins also come out for special occasions. Balloonists give them to people who offer to help, be especially nice, or some other significant moment. They are a unique way to say “thank you” as well as spread the word about their balloons.
Do you have a favorite hot air balloon or commemorative pin?
If you want to connect with the Albuquerque International Balloon Festival, visit their Facebook page.
Be sure to say hello to Tim Taylor on the Dee III Hot Air Balloon Facebook page.
If you need lapel pins or festival pins of your own, be sure to contact us at PinProsPlus!
Tim Taylor's Dee Balloon III lapel pin design!