BLOOMFIELD — Balloons will take flight this weekend.

Starting Friday, 14 pilots from around the state -- and one from England -- will participate in Bloomfield's sixth annual Father's Day weekend event.

Beginning at 7 a.m. today, an assortment of curious and colorful balloons will lift off from the soccer fields behind the Bloomfield Boys and Girls Club, near South First and West Pearce streets. Balloons also lift off Saturday and Sunday mornings.

Once aloft, the balloons -- sporting festive names like "Bumpy," "Bleu Bayou" and "Dingbat” -- will head west along the San Juan River.

"They circle back and land in different fields around town," said Janet Mackey, president of the Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce, which is sponsoring the event. "It makes it fun for the chase crews who never know exactly where the balloons will land."

Saturday night at sundown, the balloons, tethered to the ground, will be lit like a giant luminaria while live music, face painting, free cotton candy and other activities will be available for families.

"The kids will be able to hop in the basket when they're not busy enjoying all the fun," Mackey said.

For more information, call 505-632-0880 or go to