By ROB LARSON
Daily Press Staff Writer
We have liftoff, Artesia.
Beginning at 8 a.m. today with an optional launch for Artesia’s schools, the 2012 Balloons and Bluegrass Festival is officially underway. Following the early-morning launch, a pilot-sponsor meet and greet will take place at the Pecos Inn at 6 p.m., where the pilots can register and grab some dinner.
The festivities for Saturday will start with a pilot briefing at 6:15 a.m. over coffee, juice and doughnuts at the Pecos Inn. At around 7 a.m., the official balloon launch will take place at Eagle Draw, three blocks north of Main Street near Seventh Street.
According to Carla Miner, the assistant director and events coordinator at the Artesia Chamber of Commerce, 24 balloons are registered for this weekend, including five new ones. … For the rest of the story, subscribe in print and on the web.
“For those coming out for the hot air balloons, the Artesia Arts Council is having a free photo excursion for everyone, and who knows? You may get pulled in to help crew the balloons,” Miner said. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so come out and have a fun, memorable time with your family and friends that’s free of admission.”
Just a couple of hours after the launch, or from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., the Bluegrass Festival will be held at The Derrick Floor on the corner of Sixth and Main streets.