At the age of three Marcus Logsdon, a resident of Artesia, embarked on the journey of a lifetime; he floated high above his community in a hot air balloon accompanied by his dad, James Logsdon, and the balloon pilot, Robert Fear. The trio flew from Eagle Draw to an empty lot near Wal-Mart where Marcus and James were greeted by an ecstatic mom and wife, Kelley. Robert and James grew up as friends in Artesia and Robert, offered the Logsdon family an up-close and personal hot air balloon experience when he travelled back to his hometown of Artesia from Albuquerque as part of the Balloons and Tunes event hosted by the Artesia Chamber of Commerce.
This was all back in 2019. Fast forward a year to November 2020 and the cancellation of the local Balloons and Tunes tradition as a safety precaution during a pandemic. While large scale events are NOT an option this year, many hobbyists and enthusiasts have studied up on their COVID safe practices and begun hosting events that creatively fill the gaps in community schedules. Balloonists cannot congregate on the ground, but they may still fly with one another. Robert and his father, Darrell Fear, another Artesia resident, will lift off in their balloons from Bulldog Bowl November 7th at 6:30 am and November 8th at 6:30 am to fly overhead as a nod to normalcy. They’re flying as part of the “Lifting Spirits Around the World” initiative which seeks to spark joy in spectators of their flight. Robert and Darrell encourage Artesians to come out and enjoy the balloons both days this weekend.
Usually the balloon festival brings fuel sponsorships and lodging for the pilots to put on a show, but not this year. The pilots are footing the bills for gas and hotel rooms in order to bring this gift to the community. Please show your appreciation for their generous gift by practicing social distancing and wearing a face covering as you enjoy their flight. Thank you Robert and Darrell for lifting the community’s spirits during challenging times!
By: Kaity Hirst