Elephant Butte Lake is preparing for their annual Balloon Regatta on August 19-20.

More than a dozen hot air balloons will inflate and glide over the waters of Elephant Butte at 7 a.m. each day, then they’ll take off into the New Mexico skies for a sight that many El Pasoans have never experienced before. The event dates back to the 1970’s and thanks to its location on the lake, it has some unique differences from other balloon events, such as a boat chase team, where ground crews follow the hot air balloon on a boat, instead of a truck.

This years event will also include their first ever Balloon Glow at 6:30 p.m. on August 19, where pilots will inflate the balloons and light them up from the inside while being tethered on the beach, weather permitting.

All of the activities will take place at Lions Beach, located in Elephant Butte and are included with your park admission for the day that you pay while entering. Elephant Butte is located about 123 miles from El Paso and is a popular Summer destination for locals

Organizers say hot air balloon owners that are interested in participating may contact @elephantbutteballoonregatta on Facebook.

Schedule of Events

August 19
19 – 7-8:30am Balloons inflate and take off
8-9am Pilots and skippers baton competition and target competition
6:30-7:15pm Balloon Glow

August 20
7-8:30am Balloons Inflate and take off