Colorado Balloon Festival

There is truly something magical about hot air ballooning.   Visit a festival and you’ll see little children enthralled.  Meanwhile, it is the older generations launching the colorful balloons.    All photographs on this page by Boulder Realtor Bob Gordon; most pictures were taken at the three day Erie Colorado Balloon Festival (see post).   And click here for the 2016 Erie Town Fair and Balloon Festival.

Ballooning is a balance between patience and frenetic activity.  On the one hand, pilots are cautious in setting up their gear, ensuring they follow a specific set up procedure.  Filling a balloon takes time and air. And yet, there are a few moments where activity and attention to detail dominate.  As the balloon rises from the ground, the pilot is oftentimes at the top of the balloon, directing to ensure it properly inflates.

And while a balloon basket seems firmly attached to the ground, at the moment of launch the pilot is focused on a clean takeoff, especially at festivals where people abound.  Visit a Colorado Balloon Festival and watch for an ace pilot.  You’ll recognize him or her; it will be the balloon that seems to gently takeoff across the field, barely clearing the crowd, other dirigibles and then any nearby structures or trees.  The rookies tend to shoot straight up.

mass ascension erie Colorado Balloon Festival
Erie Colorado Balloon Festival, May 2015


Hot Air Balloon Rodeo

Taking place Saturday July 11 2015 and Sunday July 12, 2015.  Launch time is 6 am.  Keeping in mind weather can delay or scrub a launch, I recommend arriving early for a festival to give you the best opportunity to meet pilots, see launches and enjoy the morning.   This is the 34th running of this Steamboat Springs Colorado Balloon Festival.  Address: Bald Eagle Lake, 35565 South Highway 40, Steamboat Springs.   Visitors information 970.879.0880 or visit the official website.

little girl is enthralled with hot air balloon launch
Kids are absolutely enthralled with hot air balloons. Erie Colorado Balloon Festival


Colorado Springs Colorado Balloon Festival

The festival is tentatively scheduled for Memorial Park over Labor Day weekend at the end of summer.  City officials say the event is an annual community favorite.  I found this news article on this Colorado Balloon festival.

Telluride Balloon Festival

32nd annual event takes place on June 5 – June 7, 2015.  The first day does not have an official balloon launching event.  See the mass ascension on Saturday and Sunday, launching at dawn.  Big thanks to Alpine Bank for sponsoring the event.  Official site.

bob gordon alonside wicked at the erie Colorado Balloon Festival
Realtor Bob Gordon, Blog author, with the pilot for Wicked, Erie Colorado Balloon Festival


Creede Balloon Festival

The 2015 Colorado Balloon Festival in Creede, Co is scheduled for Friday 9/4/2015 through Sunday 9/6/2015.  There is an active Facebook page with additional information.

Mesa Verde Colorado

Three days of mass ascension madness in Mesa Verde this year from September 26 to 28th, 2015.  The third day features a “balloon glow.”  The official name of this event is the Mancos Valley Balloon and Art Festival.  Contact visitor services at 970-565-8227 for additional information.

racing balloon and regular hot air balloons in mass ascenion at a colorado balloon festival
The narrow yellow balloon features a dragon, encircling the envelope. A real crowd favorite. This is a “Racing” balloon, with its unique shape. Sort of like a football end to end, this style of balloon is really built for speed.


Frederick in Flight

This year’s event is on target for June 26, 2015 to June 28, 2015.  Event takes place at Centennial Park, located at 630 8th Street, Frederick, Colorado 80530.   Head Downtown for the Block Party 6pm-10pm on Saturday evening.  You’ll be able to enjoy live music, food trucks, beer gardens, and fun kids activities!

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Big thanks to all the pilots, crew and volunteers I met while attending the 2015 Erie festival. Met a good deal of photographers as well and all around had a fabulous time.

hot air is added to a balloon.  it is flaming into the balloon
Wicked fires its thrusters adding hot air to the balloon

Check out some really magical shots from Andy on his Flicker page:  Below is a photo I captured of Andy the photographer!

andy hollingsworth sporting a mohawk hairstyle
Andy Hollingsworth, photographer and owner of a killer mohawk hair style.

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