On Saturday, January 28, 1995 in Tillamook, Oregon a Balloon Rally was held under perfect weather conditions. Balloonmeister Ron Purdum conducted the pilot briefing that included a weather report from Flight Service manager Dan Mallary. The current conditions were high wind (40Kts+) and heavy rain. The forecast was for this to continue through the weekend. Despite very low measured ceilings, Rod carried on, set the task, informed the pilots of the red zones and launched 25 balloon into_ The largest clear span wooden building in the world, the Tillamook Blimp hanger. Drop lines were used for positioning and hundreds of museum visitors were introduced to balloon flight. Resulting media coverage was a definite winner for the ballooning community, and the Air Museum drew record breaking crowds. Now converted to an Air Museum, the WWII structure is home for dozens of vintage aircraft. Plans are already underway for another record-breaking attempt in 1996. After all, where else can we find a landowner that will allow ballooning "in the house." Vista Balloon Adventures
A dozen hot air balloons decorated the skies over the South Dakota Capitol in honor of Governor William J. Janklow on January 7, 1995 at Pierre, South Dakota.
The spectacular Hot Air Balloon Show was a unique event, a part of the gala celebration and inauguration of the 30th Governor of the State of South Dakota. It was of unprecedented historical significance.
Janklow is also the only South Dakota Governor to be elected for a third term. He had served as Governor from 1979-1987, leaving office due to term limits. He was reelected again in 1995, succeeding Governor George Mickelson, who was killed in a tragic airplane accident.
Janklow is an avid sportsman and hot air balloon enthusiast. He is co-owner, with Gerald Teunissen, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, of the red, white and blue, star-decorated Janklow Hot Air Balloon.
Teunissen, a veteran pilot, is President of the South Dakota Hot Air Balloon Association and he was coordinator of the Pierre event honoring the inauguration of Janklow and other officials.
The Inauguration celebration was the largest ever held in South Dakota. The Hot Air Balloon Show was a significant and unique feature of this event.
"We know of no other governor who is actively involved in promoting hot air ballooning," Teunissen says. "Governor Bill is an avid sports fan and enthusiastic about this exciting activity."
Inaugural guests, Pierre residents and tourists were enthralled by the colorful display of balloon which seemed to rise spontaneously and ascend in rapid succession against a cloudy sky with intermittent sunshine.
The launching site was Hilger Gulch, located near the State Capitol building. The Gulch is a scenic area nestled in the Missouri River bluffs, a recessed expanse beneath a ridge; a perfect arena for launching balloons into an unfettered atmosphere. A gigantic Uncle Sam balloon, from the world-famous Soukup & Thomas International Balloon and Airship Museum, Mitchell, South Dakota, was the first of the 12 balloons to launch, followed by the Janklow balloon: symbolic of nation and state patriotism.
"The weather cooperated with us," Teunissen says. "Ballooning in South Dakota, especially in January, is a gamble. The morning sky was gray and threatening but conditions improved; the sun came out through the clouds to make the launching, not only possible, but clear for viewing."
During the 1994 Gubernatorial Campaign, the Janklow balloon flew over every major city and all areas of the state.
"The Land of Infinite Variety" is a South Dakota slogan and hot air ballooning
is another dimension in the variety of sports available for year-around