After thirty-plus years of flying, Wayne Standefer of Waxahachie always comes back to Sulphur Springs for the Dairy Airs Balloon Rally. In 2023, Standefer is in his twenty-first year of attendance at the festival.
Standefer has returned every year since the beginning of the event, he said.
“[I] hold a special place in my heart for Sulphur Springs,” he noted.
One of the things Sanderfer says he loves about Sulphur Springs is that it’s a “fly-anywhere space.” This means everywhere in this town is good to fly and land, making it the perfect destination for many balloonists.
Having flown all over the country and even in Mexico, Standefer is well-known in the ballooning community.
“Flying with 700 balloons in New Mexico at the Albuquerque International Balloon Festival to thirty [balloons] here at Dairy Airs, every time is different and that’s why I love it.” he offered.
As somewhat of a legend in the community, Standefer had so many incredible stories. A favorite memory of his was flying down from a mountain in Mexico to a valley during sunset.
When asked what his favorite balloon of all time is he said, “Well, mine, of course!” Standerfer has a collection of nineteen different balloons that he uses when he travels the country. One of the collection is an orange Martian balloon he calls Jimmy.
Wayne Standefer is an extraordinary balloonist and person who makes every balloon ride one to never forget. Meeting with these balloonists and seeing the beautiful balloons is a once and a lifetime opportunity.
Friday, June 9 and Saturday, June 10 at 6 p.m. the balloons will be on display at Shannon Oaks church for the annual Dairy Airs Hot Air Balloon Festival Glow Rally.
Contributed by Addison Caddell as a part of her 𝐒𝐮𝐦𝐦𝐞𝐫 𝐢𝐧 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐒𝐩𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐬 series for Front Porch News. Brought to you by Alliance Bank.