By Alicia Neaves
ALPINE - A West Texas tradition could be on the chopping block. The Big Bend Balloon Bash is in desperate need of help.
Every August for the past 20 years in Alpine, huge, colorful, beautiful hot air balloons filled the Big Bend skies. But the organization that puts on the event needs some help. If they don't get it, the Big Bend Balloon Bash of 2015 might not happen.
"We have 15,000 people that see the event because when those balloons fly across town, somebody walks out the back door and sees it," President of the Big Bend Hot Air Balloon Association, Kenneth Clouse, said.
People from all over Texas gather in Alpine every year for the annual Big Bend Balloon Bash. Bringing their friends and families out in the early morning hours to enjoy these beautiful sights.
"At one time, we have had as many as 27 balloons," Clouse said.
The bash fuels the local economy, filling hotel rooms and restaurants the entire three day weekend. They work in conjunction with the Marfa Lights Festival. But for the past few years, making the event happen was a struggle.
"We're primarily operating on a two to three person operation these last three or four years and it's really becoming difficult," Clouse said.
For this reason, to avoid another year of being short-handed, the Big Bend Balloon Bash is asking for any sponsors and volunteers to lend a hand during one of the busiest, most eventful weekends in the Big Bend Region.
"With the amount of effort put in, it would take a good 12 to 15 people to get involved. To spread the work out," Clouse said.