By Charlene Corson Selbee
The Caledonia Balloon Rally was started in 1990 and is the only balloon rally south of Rochester, Minn., and has become an annual event. This year, the rally is scheduled for October 20-22.
The 10 hot air balloons are coming from Minnesota, the surrounding states of Wisconsin and Iowa, and one is coming from South Dakota. They will lift off from the field behind the Caledonia High School at 4:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday evening and on Saturday and Sunday morning at 7:30 a.m.
Rally organizer Marian Gavin reminds attendees, “Balloon flights are weather dependent, and safety always comes first.” Remember that whether balloons fly or not is at the pilot’s discretion. Keep a watchful eye on the Caledonia Balloon Rally Facebook page for updates on the balloon rally: www.facebook.com/caledoniaballoonrally.
Participating pilots are Russ Lucas, Dodge Center, Minn.; Lynn Huppert, Ellsworth, Wis.; Chris Keefe, Cross Plains, Wis.; Rodney Newkirk, Rochester, Minn.; Tim Cloyd, Runnells, Iowa; John Parezo, Sioux Falls, S. Dak.; Jeff Trzebiatowski, Appleton, Wis.; Terry Dorshorst,
West Salem, Wis.; Sean Eakin, Tomah, Wis.; and Kevin Kamp, Marion, Iowa.
Tom Cloyd from Runnells, Iowa, is this year’s balloon meister. The balloon meister is in charge of and coordinates all the balloon activities at a balloon event. He/she makes sure that the pilots meet all the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements.
Selfie time! Bring your camera to capture the picturesque balloons as they inflate, lift off, and fill the sky with bright colors. #2023CaledoniaBalloonRally
On Saturday, October 21, after the balloon rally, head to the Caledonia City Auditorium Gymnasium from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for a free event. Enjoy a freewill donation hot dog lunch, a gift basket extravaganza launch, photo booth, Balloons by Kevin, pumpkin decorating, canvas painting for kids, musical chairs, face painting and tattoos, toss games, lollipop pull,and more. Local author Leanne M. Benson will lead storytelling activites throughout the day.
Upcoming Bluff County events:
• October 20-21, Oktoberfest, Prairie du Chien, Wis.
• October 21, Arts & Crafts Fair, Rushford, Minn.
• October 28, Haunted Harmony, Harmony, Minn.
• October 28, Hole in the Sock Gang 1880s Street Theatre, McGregor, Iowa
The Visit Bluff Country Magazine is delivered to more than 1,000 locations in 35 counties in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. This magazine has a mission of promoting tourism in the Historic Bluff Country (Driftless) region.
For information on upcoming town festival and events in Historic Bluff Country, vacation ideas for lodging, recreation, dining and shopping, check out the magazine in print or online at www.visitbluffcountry.com.