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  • Welcome to the Web Site of the VFRS Hot Air Balloon Club!

    February 29, 2016


    Vader Balloon Photo Master Yoda balloon

    With many, many thanks to the managers and staff of the City of Belen and the officers and members of the Valencia Flying and Retrieval Society, the Darth Vader and Master Yoda Balloons will be appearing at the 32nd Annual St. Patrick’s Day Hot Air Balloon Rallye at the Eagle Park & Community Center in Belen, NM


    See Below for a link to the Sponsorship Donation Fund at Indigogo/Generosity and help us pay the fees for these guys!

    Link to make a donation to the non-profit VFRS Vader Appearance Fund:

    Expect to see many of your favorite Star Wars characters represented by realistically costumed members of a local organization.  They come out each year at Fiesta to support the Vader and Yoda balloons, and make appearances at local charitable events.  Want to thank them?  Make a donation to Children’s Miracle Network and support the great work they do by visiting local hospital childrens’ wards.

    WANT A CHANCE TO RIDE THE VADER BALLOON at the St. Pat’s Rallye?  One winner will be selected for each Rallye Day, March 18-20, to ride in the Vader Balloon (weather permitting and with pilot discretion, age and liability restrictions apply).  For each $10 donation to the non-profit VFRS community event fund, as our thank-you, you will receive a chance to win a ride on the Vader Balloon.  For each $25 donation, you will receive a thank you gift of 3 chances to win a ride on Vader.  (cancellation can occur for weather or technical difficulties.)  Ride chances have no cash value and the charitable donation is non refundable.

    Mail your donation checks (NO cash please) to:  VFRS, P.O. Box 1002, Peralta, NM 87042, Attention: VADER

    You may also send your donation via PayPal (you must have an account) to Please include your mailing address in the notes so that your Ride Chances may be sent to you by return mail as quickly as possible.

    In addition to these two specially shaped balloons will be “Max” (short for Beagle Maximus) the largest dog balloon in the world and “Paddy” the Shamrock, the only Shamrock balloon in the world.



    "Beagle Maximus"

    “Beagle  “Max”  Maximus “

    Along with our very special shapes will be at least 50 regular and smaller special shaped balloons so keep your eyes peeled for your favorites!  We’ll add their photos as their registrations roll in.


    And remember that VFRS accepts memberships from balloon pilots, crew members, and anyone who is interested in the family sport of hot air ballooning.   Annual membership fee for an individual is still only $15, and is a mere $25 for an entire family.  Attend one of our meetings and join.

    Oh, before I forget!  We need your photos of past St. Patrick’s Day Rallyes!   Please send them via email to:  so our event photo galleries can be updated. Thanks!

    This event doesn’t happen without serious help from sponsors.  We thank everyone who has given money, goods, and time to this incredible community service event!  Please thank them by clicking through to their web site, patronizing their businesses, or calling them to thank them for their support!  Scroll Down to see them all because some don’t have web sites.


    Please Thank our Sponsors by supporting their businesses.

    First and foremost goes our gratitude to the City of Belen Parks & Recreation Department for hosting this fabulous event on their fields.  Equal gratitude goes to the City of Belen Library and Harvey House Museum for enthusiastic support and guidance, along with the City of Belen Department of Economic Development and the City Administration, and the Director and members of the Greater Belen Chamber of Commerce.  THANK YOU !!

    Next, our deep gratitude goes to Mr. Jim Burleson of Tall Tales Comics, Producer of the Annual Albuquerque Comic Con for his generous support of our efforts to acquire donations to support the appearance fees of the Vader and Yoda balloons.

    Here’s a link to a video mash up from the 2015 ComicCon:

    Please support the Greater Belen Chamber of Commerce with your membership, participation, and donations:


    For more information or if you have any questions, please email or contact

    VFRS Member Cheryl Ryder @ 505-350-7205





    Presented by the Valencia Flying and Retrieval Society, City of Belen, and Valencia County News-Bulltein



    Tentative Schedule of Events



    Friday, MARCH 18, 2016

    7:00am- Media/ Sponsor Flights- Pilot briefing at Eagle Park or elsewhere as directed.

    7:30am- Balloon Launches  *Darth Vader Balloon will launch from Wells Fargo Bank at Main & Becker in Belen

    5:00 pm  Pilot, Sponsor, & Crew Check in and Registration Reception  – Harvey House Museum at First & Becker (not open to the public)


    Saturday, March 19, 2016

    6:30am-  Late Pilot Sign In at Eagle Park

    7:00am – Mandatory Pilot Briefing at Eagle Park

    7:30am – Mass Ascension

    8:00am to 9:30am – Tether Rides for Charity Cash Donations

    9:00am to 12:00pm- Propane Refueling @ on-site location

    10:00am to 1:00pm- Individual Tailgate Party @ Eagle Park Picnic Shelter


    Sunday, March 20, 2016

    7:00am – Back- up and Media/ Sponsor Flights- Pilot Briefing @ Eagle Park

    7:30am – Mass Ascension

    8:00am to 9:30am- Tether Rides for Charity Cash Donations

    9:00am to 12:00pm- Propane refueling @ on-site locations

    10:00am to 1:00pm- Individual Tailgate Party @ Eagle Park Picnic Shelter






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