Pirates of the Canyon Balloon Festival

Last updated 1/28/2015

Amarillo Invitational Balloon Rally
"Pirates of the Canyon"


In 2006, Chris Jones of Amarillo, Texas re-started the Amarillo Invitational Balloon Rally. Most of the activity was at the Tradwinds Airport in the South East corner of town. The hi-lite of the event was the Sunday morning flight from Palo Duro Canyon State Park. Flying in this rough terrain is not easy. The winds have to be right, or you will end up in areas with absolutely no access. You have to pay attention to details like having enough water for everyone on board, because if your crew can't get to you quickly, it is high-dry desert, and you can dehydrate quickly. Chris Jones organized a great flight, with all of the safety precautions needed. I look forward to going to this festival for years to come.
We flew Fred B. Rabbit Hot Air Balloon at this rally to honor Rusty & BK Elwell who flew in Amarillo for years and were the original owners of Fred B Rabbit. Rusty and BK both passed away the summer of 2006.
In 2007, the rally continued with 21 balloons, much more publicity, and a lot more spectators.
Since then, it is grown into a very popular balloon festival.


We made front page of the Amarillo Globe News

Picture Jeff Heimsath / Amarillo Globe News

2012 Inflation in the Canyon

Picture from FaceBook

Picture 2012 Jim Hester

Picture 2012 Jim Hester

High Wind Landing

Picture 2012 Jim Hester

Picture 2012 Tom Weisbrook

Picture 2012 Tom Weisbrook


Flight across town, Amarillo, TX Oct 2011


Palo Duro Canyon, Amarillo, TX, Oct 23, 2010


Sunday October 28
20 balloons flew from the canyon Sunday Morning
The canyon was overflowing with spectators.

Wings of Wind right after takeoff

Several Balloons down in the canyon

Boxed back to where we took off

Starting to head out of the canyon, towards Amarillo

Saturday October 27
Several balloons flew across town Saturday evening

Friday October 26
12 balloons flew from the canyon Friday Morning


Keith Sproul / Fred B Rabbit and Joe Jones / Quadnickel about to take off

Picture by Gene Bitner

Quadnickel and Fred B Rabbit right after take off

Picture by Gene Bitner

The rest of the pictures taken by Debbie Sproul from Fred B Rabbit/

Joe Jones / Quadnickel as the sun peaks over the cliff

Rick Schmidt / Snaggletooth lifting off

Once you leave the Canyon, there is nothing for miles

Shawdow of Fred B Rabbit, shortly before landing

"For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards,
for there you have been and there you will long to return."

- Leonardo da Vinci

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of moments that take our breath away."
- Anonymous

Keith Sproul's Festival History

Pandy Hot Air Balloon
Tetrahedron Hot Air Balloon
Birthday Cake Hot Air Balloon
Pig Headed Hot Air Balloon
Fred B Rabbit Hot Air Balloon

Meteor Crater Flight
Letchworth State Park, NY Gorge Flights
Shooting the Delaware Water Gap PA/NJ
Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Amarillo, TX Balloon Flight
Red Rock Balloon Festival, Gallup, NM
2007 Switzerland Balloon Festival
Dawn Patrol Flights

Chariot Balloons
Balloon Flights in 3D
Balloon Parachute Artwork
Balloon Pictures from the Bottom
Red, White & Blue Balloons
Arrow Design Balloons
Aerostar Aurora Balloons
Parachute Drop Pictures
List of University Balloons


Best Buy Coupons
Best Buy Coupons

Created 10/30/2006
Modified 1/28/2015
Copyright Keith Sproul
EMail ksproul@skychariot.com