A hot air balloon prepares for lift off during last year’s Balloons and Bluegrass Festival in Artesia. (Daily Press file photo)

A hot air balloon prepares for lift off during last year’s Balloons and Bluegrass Festival in Artesia. (Daily Press file photo)

ARTESIA — The annual Balloons and Bluegrass Festival will be lifting off this weekend with foot stomping and high-flying activities. The event features hot air balloon flights and bluegrass music performed by musicians from across the western states.

This year’s event features 20 balloons and eight bluegrass bands. The balloons will launch  – weather permitting –  Friday morning from all five elementary schools and the kindergarten and will launch from Eagle Draw – east and west of 10th Street – Saturday and Sunday mornings. The bands will perform at The Derrick Floor park on Main Street Saturday. In addition, “Take Me Home: A John Denver Show” will perform at the Ocotillo Performing Arts Center Saturday evening.

Vendors will be on hand Saturday at The Derrick Floor, and the Artesia MainStreet organization will host a “pop-a-balloon” promotion, where participants can win prizes and discounts from local merchants.

In addition, there will be a balloon wedding officiated by Pastor David Grousnick Saturday morning.

The schedule of events and show times include:

Friday, November 4:
8 a.m. – “Friday Fun Flight,” pilots launch from all five elementary schools and the kindergarten.
Saturday, November 5:
7:30 a.m. – Balloons launch from Eagle Draw.
9:30 a.m. – Gore Brothers perform.
10:30 a.m. – Vintage performs.
11:30 a.m. – Duke City Swampcoolers perform.
12:30 p.m. – Danny Santos and Los Bluegrass Vatos perform.
1:30 p.m. – Gore Brothers perform.
2:30 p.m. – Vintage performs.
3:30 p.m. – Duke City Swampcoolers perform.
4:30 p.m. – Danny Santos and Los Bluegrass Vatos perform.
7:30 p.m. – Take Me Home: A John Denver Show at the Ocotillo Performing Arts Center.
Sunday, November 6:
7:00 a.m. – Balloons launch from Eagle Draw.