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The Colorado Springs Labor Day Lift Off Balloon Festival, an uplifting event for the whole family!

Melissa McClung

The Colorado Springs Labor Day Lift Off Balloon Festival is an extraordinary event that takes place on Labor Day at Memorial Park. It is a lively experience with games, activities, food, drinks and especially hot air balloons! The festival consists of three days and two times each day. There is the morning time where at around seven o’ clock the first wave of balloons lift off. The second wave lifts off after the first. There is also the six o’ clock night time. At this time, none of the balloons lift off but the balloons are put up and at the same time, they all light up and glow. Six o’ clock is a good time to be there so you can catch the activities, food and live music. I had the chance to interview Richard Rice, one of the many balloonists. His interest hot air balloons started when he was asked by his friend to be a scorer for one of the competitions. He agreed. In 1977, Rice attended the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, a huge event with more than 500 balloons! Then in July of 1978, he became a pilot. Rice’s first balloon was named Wingsong. He is now the co-owner of Hearts A’ Fire. Ballooning takes a lot of concentrating and practice. “What you do need to learn is patience.” Rice said. And after watching or flying with a balloonist you will find that he is right.
 I would give this festival five stars and recommend it for the whole family. There are games, bouncy castles and other activities for children and there are food and drink stands and live music for adults. Then of course, the magnificent and unique hot air balloons from ones with elaborate patterns to shapes such as Darth Vader and Yoda. If you are looking for a fun and enjoyable way to spend your weekend, then this is the event for you.
 

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