This past weekend in Colorado Springs, I visited the Labor Day Lift Off Festival. LDLO is basically a 3 day hot air balloon festival that happens every Labor Day weekend for the past 43 years. A huge crowd of people were already there at 6 a.m. at Memorial Park to watch the hot air balloons. LDLO is the biggest hot air balloon festival in Colorado. We had to leave Denver by 4:45 to see the 78 hot air balloons launch at 7 a.m. There were two waves of the hot air balloons, each wave had about 33 balloons because the park was not big enough to launch all the balloons at once.
There were approximately 78 balloons that flew and lots of them were based on things like a penguin, scarecrow, frog, dragon, and even Scar from the Lion King. It was interesting to see all of the balloons get filled up. First, the small baskets were unloaded from a regular pickup truck. Then, the hot air balloon pilot and his crew took the balloon out of the small 2 person basket, and spread the giant deflated balloon on the ground. Then, two people had to open up the bottom so that cold air could fill the balloon. It did not take long to fill. The cold air had to be heated up with propane gas tanks and the process took around ten minutes from start to finish. Most air balloon festivals take place early in the morning or late in the evening because of the cooler weather. After the balloon was filled, it was lift off! The morning sky was filled with colorful balloons! Breathtaking! If you were not interested in watching the balloons (but everyone from babies to older people were!)then there were other activities like bungee jumping and bounce houses, a donut eating competition, chainsaw cuting competition, and air force skydivers. However, if you wanted to do bungee jumping and other activities you would have to pay money, as watching the balloons fly is free.
If you are looking for a cheap family fun event that is close by, Labor Day LIft Off in Colorado Springs fits the bill!