More than a hundred people watched 37 hot-air balloons take off early in the morning for the event sponsored by the Roswell Chamber of Commerce and the Hispano Chamber of Commerce. Previously coordinated by a different group, the event has occurred in Roswell each spring for 31 years. This year, balloon teams came from across New Mexico and from Lubbock, Texas. The event also included a raffle for a possible $20,000 giveaway with proceeds to be used to send a Roswell youth to a balloon camp. If weather conditions allow, another balloon launch will take place at 6:30 a.m. today. Later in the morning, the annual Cinco de Mayo (May 5th) celebration began. The activities organized by the chambers included knockerball, live musical performances, taco and jalapeno eating contests, face painting, jump houses, slides, train rides and performances by the Roswell Folklorico dance group directed by Frank Herrera. With more than 70 members ranging in age from 4 to 70, the group performs at various events throughout the year. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

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