PHOTOS: Balloons set to take flight as 38th annual Balloon Festival kicks off busy weekend in Steamboat | SteamboatToday.com

PHOTOS: Balloons set to take flight as 38th annual Balloon Festival kicks off busy weekend in Steamboat

Western Spirit floats high above the Yampa Valley landscape Friday morning as balloons and pilots took to the air for the 38th annual Steamboat Springs Balloon Festival’s media day. The balloons will be back at the Bald Eagle Lake from 6:30 to 9:30 a.m. Saturday, July 13, and Sunday, July 14, for public launches as well as at the base of Howelsen Hill from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday for the Night Glow.
John F. Russell
Balloon pilot Mark Whiting runs through a pre-flight inspection during media day Friday for the 38th annual Steamboat Springs Hot Air Balloon Festival. Balloons will take flight at Bald Eagle Lake from 6:30 to 9:30 a.m. Saturday, July 13, and Sunday, July 14. There will also be a Night Glow from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday at Howelsen Hill featuring hot air balloons, live music, children’s activities food, drink and vendors.
John F. Russell
Flames leap from a burner heating the air inside the envelope of “Big Top” during Friday’s media day launch at Bald Eagle Lake as part of the 38th annual Steamboat Springs Balloon Festival. Balloons will take flight starting at 6:30 a.m. Saturday, July 13. There will also be a Night Glow from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday at Howelsen Hill featuring hot air balloons, live music, children’s activities food, drink and vendors. A second balloon launch will be held from 6:30 to 9:30 a.m. Sunday, July 14.
Balloon-sbt-071319-5-1
Balloon pilot Mark Whiting runs through a pre-flight inspection during media day Friday morning for the 38th annual Hot Air Balloon Festival. Balloons will take flight at Bald Eagle Lake from 6:30 to 9:30 a.m. Saturday, July 13, and Sunday, July 14. There will also be a Night Glow from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday at Howelsen Hill featuring hot air balloons, live music, children’s activities food, drink and vendors.
John F. Russell
Bald Eagle Lake will once again be the launch site for the annual Steamboat Springs Balloon Festival. Gates open at 6 a.m. Saturday and Sunday with inflation beginning at 6:30 a.m. and a launch planned from 6:30 to 9:30 a.m.
John F. Russell
Crew leader Todd Ness lays out the envelope of “Big Top” prior to launch early Friday morning. Big Top’s crew and pilot Mark Whiting got a little taste of what the 38th annual Steamboat Springs Balloon Festival will offer during media day. The gates for Saturday and Sunday’s launches will open at 6 a.m. with inflation planned for 6:30 a.m. followed by the launch. The pilots and balloons will also be on hand from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday for the Night Glow at Howelsen Hill.
John F. Russell
The artwork that graces the envelope of “Big Top” took more than 1,000 hours to complete and can be seen at this year’s Steamboat Springs Balloon Festival. The artwork is hand-painted and was inspired by the Ringling Brothers Circus. The figures in the artwork, including the ringmaster, lions, tigers,and bears, stand nearly 40 feet tall. “Big Top” will be one of many balloons featured at the festival, which will take place with launches from 6:30 to 9:30 a.m. Saturday, July 13, and Sunday, July 14, at Bald Eagle Lake, and a Night Glow from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday at Howelsen Hill.
John F. Russell
Balloons take flight as the sun rises over Bald Eagle Lake Friday morning as part of the 38th annual Steamboat Springs Balloon Festival. Gates at Bald Eagle Lake will open at 6 a.m. Saturday, July 13, and Sunday, July 14, with inflation slated for 6:30 a.m. followed by the launch. There will also be a Night Glow from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday at Howelsen Hill.
John F. Russell

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