A Weekend of Balloons and Rib Rub

This past weekend was my mom’s birthday. To celebrate, my parents drove up for a visit and we headed out to the Stateville Balloon Festival for the day. If you’ve never been to one of these events before, you absolutely need to find one in your area and go. Immediately.  This was our second year attending and it’s just as amazing to me this time around as it was the first.

Each afternoon during the festival weekend, they have a mass ascension of around 50 balloons. They all go up at about the same time and you are able to walk right up to the balloons and watch how they fill them up and get them flying.  You can even pay to ride along with the balloon pilot and have a once in a lifetime experience for a small price.

I think I probably filled an entire memory card on my camera I took so many shots. Here are a few I thought I’d share to give you an idea of the experience.

Here they are starting to go up.

This one gives you an idea of how big these balloons are.  So totally cool.

In order to get one of these balloons off the ground, they start off by blowing air into it with an industrial fan.  Once the balloon is sufficiently filled with air, they then begin blowing in the fire to heat it up.  You can see the fire going in in this picture (see how close I am? So awesome).

This one is just about ready to ascend.  You can see how badly it wants to go up.  They really have to hold it down with all their strength until they’re ready.  Oh, and check out the fire going in!

Up, up and away!

And a final view of as many balloons as I could get in the picture.  I SO wish I had brought my wide angle lens with me.

And what do balloons have to do with rib rub you might ask?  Well absolutely nothing, I just thought it would be pretty darn cool to share with you all.  Was I right?

If you’re still curious about the rub after all that, then keep on reading.  This rib rub is super easy to put together and it makes a great Christmas gift for that foodie on your list.  In fact, I was given it as a gift last Christmas from my Aunt Anne.  Here’s what you’ll need to put together a batch.

For 1 Cup of Rub:

2 Tbsp of Salt
4 Tbsp of Sugar
2 Tbsp of Cumin
2 Tbsp of Black Pepper
2 Tbsp of Chile Powder
4 Tbsp of Paprika

Mix it all together in a jar and your rub is ready to use.  I tell ya, balloons and good food.  What more you could you possibly ask for?

Print Save

Rib Rub


For 1 Cup of Rub:

2 Tbsp of Salt
4 Tbsp of Sugar
2 Tbsp of Cumin
2 Tbsp of Black Pepper
2 Tbsp of Chile Powder
4 Tbsp of Paprika


Mix it all together in a jar and you're rub is ready to use.

Mommie Cooks Rib Rub on Foodista

  Pin It!

40 Responses to “A Weekend of Balloons and Rib Rub”

  1. 1

    Katerina — October 25, 2010 @ 5:12 am

    You ust have had such a wonderful time there. These ballons up in the air look so beautiful. Happy Birthday to your mom. I’ve already printed the rub. I’ll use it in my checken thighs. Thanks for sharing!

  2. 2

    Dinetonite — October 25, 2010 @ 5:48 am


  3. 3

    Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum — October 25, 2010 @ 7:52 am

    How fun. The balloons are so beautiful. And that rub would be a great idea to make for gifts! I like!

  4. 4

    Rita — October 25, 2010 @ 8:17 am

    I’ve never seen hot air balloons except in photos and television. Really love the way photographed them. That rub is a keeper. thank you for sharing this great post.

  5. 5

    Sommer @ A Spicy Perspective — October 25, 2010 @ 9:34 am

    Very, very cool! What an amazing experience–I bet mom had a great time! The rib rub sounds simple and flavor-packed!

  6. 6

    Pamela Fatone — October 25, 2010 @ 10:29 am

    My husband and I were married up in Woodstock, VT, June 17th 2006, It was the annual Balloon Festival Weekend, I believe it was the 29th year. We have been up the last few years to celebrate and we do get to see the lovely balloons. It truly is something to see up close. My wedding present to my husband was a ride in one of the balloons, it was fantastic. This past year, we were out at sunset and the colors between the light, the sky and the ballons was just beautiful. I too suggest if you can ever go to a Balloon festival, go you will not be disappointed.

  7. 7

    Jessica Nunemaker — October 25, 2010 @ 10:33 am

    Fun stuff. :) One of my first BIG stories (for the front page of the paper) was covering Jonathan Trappe’s flight — he’s the guy that flies with balloons, from an office chair and later a harness.

    It was part of a Hot Air Balloon festival and really fun.

  8. 8

    Kristina — October 25, 2010 @ 10:50 am

    I thought about going to a balloon festival this year, and ended up skipping it. Now I wish I had decided to go!

  9. 9

    anne — October 25, 2010 @ 12:00 pm

    great idea doe stocking stuffers! anne

  10. 10

    Laura in Cancun — October 25, 2010 @ 3:17 pm

    I’ve never seen a hot air balloon in person before! So cool :)

    I really want to ride in one!

  11. 11

    Annie — October 25, 2010 @ 4:13 pm

    Seeing all of those balloons must have bee absolutely amazing! I wonder if they do anything like that near where I live.

  12. 12

    ingrid — October 25, 2010 @ 4:14 pm

    Gorgeous photos Julie! Thanks for sharing them with us. I’m gonna mention to my mom about that festival. I’m sure they’d love to go next year.

  13. 13

    rebecca — October 25, 2010 @ 5:51 pm

    beautiful snaps so sad I didn’t meet you :-(

  14. 14

    Gitte — October 25, 2010 @ 7:02 pm

    What a beautiful day for Balloons, perfect blue sky. Did you go for a ride?
    On a side note, I “tagged” you in the Blog Tag Game. Hope you don’t mind.

  15. 15

    Joey @ Big Teeth & Clouds — October 25, 2010 @ 8:21 pm

    My uncle lives in Albuquerque. I’ve always want to go out for their festival in October. So cool!

  16. 16

    Anna Johnston — October 25, 2010 @ 8:33 pm

    Ohhh, I do love a good Balloon Festival. They have one every Autumn in our city & I’m lucky enough to live up high overlooking the lake so I get to see the balloons floating past, its so festive & fun. One of my girlfriends & her little girl stayed with me last year so they could see the balloons, one was shaped like a dragon & my g/f’s little one was awe struck, almost terrified, she thought the balloons *were* dragons – but the balloons sort of make a dragonish noise don’t they 😉

  17. 17

    Julie — October 25, 2010 @ 9:34 pm

    Those balloons are so cool, I’d be way too scared to ever go up in one! Always happy to hear about a good rib rub :)

  18. 18

    Mari's Cakes — October 25, 2010 @ 10:10 pm

    Impressive!! Lovely pictures I have enjoyed them very much.

    The rib rub must be super make super delicious ribs. My rub was missing the cumin and paprika. Will try adding it next time I make some.

  19. 19

    Monet — October 25, 2010 @ 11:23 pm

    There is a balloon festival in my hometown of Colorado Springs. It is truly a wonderful event…and I have so many amazing memories of seeing those big balloons rise up in the early morning. Thank you for sharing your experience…I’m glad that you were able to celebrate with your mom. Thank you for sharing the rub too!

  20. 20

    Biren @ Roti n Rice — October 25, 2010 @ 11:28 pm

    How fun! We used to see these balloons flying over our home in Colorado throughout the summer. It is awesome that you were able to get up close and personal. Next time, you should take a ride in one :)

    The rub sounds wonderful. It must be tasty on all kinds of meats.

  21. 21

    Sanjeeta kk — October 26, 2010 @ 1:04 am

    Lovely read, and an interesting rub recipe.

  22. 22

    Jami — October 26, 2010 @ 11:03 am

    Those balloons are a sight to behold. Awesome. Thank you so much for the rib rub recipe, Julie! Hope you’re having a great week.


  23. 23

    Emily Z — October 26, 2010 @ 11:03 am

    Me and some friends went to the local hot air balloon festival here last month. It was a lot of fun! I look forward to having kids in the near future so I can take them to it as well! It’s a great family event!

  24. 24

    OK CHICK — October 26, 2010 @ 12:39 pm

    Very cool! I’ve always wanted to attend the balloon festival in New Mexico.

  25. 25

    pigpigscorner — October 26, 2010 @ 2:10 pm

    So colourful! I always see them on tv and I would really love to try a ride one day!

  26. 26

    Damaris — October 26, 2010 @ 4:05 pm

    My son would love this. Balloons are so cool. I’ve always wanted to go up, up, up in one.

  27. 27

    M @ Betty Crapper — October 26, 2010 @ 5:43 pm

    Those balloons are beautiful. What a great day that must have been.

  28. 28

    Juliana — October 26, 2010 @ 8:50 pm

    Wow Julie, how fun the hot air balloons…what a lovely experience :-) the photos are so pretty, so colorful…awesome!

  29. 29

    5 Star Foodie — October 26, 2010 @ 10:19 pm

    So much fun! And the rub sounds terrific!

  30. 30

    cca — October 26, 2010 @ 11:32 pm

    gorgeous photos! i have never been to an event like this- loved seeing it so close up!

  31. 31

    Quickie Guacamole | Mommie Cooks! — October 27, 2010 @ 12:27 pm

    […] Rib Rub Slow Cooker Cran-Apple Butter Teriyaki Mahi Mahi with Mang-O-So Delicious Salsa This entry was posted in Appetizer, Condiment, Vegetarian. Bookmark the permalink. ← French Quarter Nachos Chicamole Pizza → […]

  32. 32

    Maranda — October 28, 2010 @ 1:22 pm

    Gorgeous pictures! That rub sounds yummy. My FIL made us something similar. I will have to get his recipe. Happy birthday to your mommy!

  33. 33

    Melissa B. — November 1, 2010 @ 9:31 pm

    Wowser…I’ve never been to a balloon fiesta. You certainly snagged some Superior Snaps! And i’ma gonna snag me that rub recipe, too. Thanks!

  34. 34

    OK CHICK — November 2, 2010 @ 8:22 am

    I like the new look!

  35. 35

    ingrid — November 2, 2010 @ 2:48 pm

    Love, love, LOVE your new look! Did I say I love it? Oh, I did, didn’t I. Well, I do! :)

  36. 36

    blackbookkitchendiaries — November 2, 2010 @ 4:08 pm

    oh my the new look is just fab! … great job.

  37. 37

    Jack@Party Balloons — March 29, 2011 @ 10:19 pm

    Ive always wanted to ride in a hot-air balloons, looks like so much fun!

  38. 38

    Smoky BBQ Ribs the Masterbuilt Way | Mommie Cooks! — September 2, 2013 @ 8:16 pm

    […] After a first use smoker pre-seasoning session, it was time for the big moment.  Considering I just happened to have a rack of ribs lying around in my freezer, the decision of what to smoke first was easy.  I kept it simple by dry rubbing the meat with a generous helping of my Aunt Ann’s rib rub. […]

  39. 39

    Jeff — May 24, 2015 @ 11:04 am

    WOW – never smoked ribs before on our own…found this recipe and everything turned out FANTASTIC!. Meat just fell off the bone. We added a pan of Mac and Cheese during the last hour and that turned out to be a wonderful compliment to the meal. I don’t have the URL at this point for that recipe…but with four different cheeses, it made this a special meal.

    We are definitely going to be doing this recipe again….makes me want to compete in the local RIB FESTS, because this recipe is a winner!

    • Julie replied: — August 6th, 2015 @ 8:37 am

      Awesome Jeff! I’m so glad they turned out well for you!

Leave a Comment