PHOTOS: Colorful balloons fill the air as 1st day of Steamboat Pilot & Today Hot Air Balloon Rodeo takes flight | SteamboatToday.com
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PHOTOS: Colorful balloons fill the air as 1st day of Steamboat Pilot & Today Hot Air Balloon Rodeo takes flight

Colorful balloons filled the sky Saturday at the 2021 Steamboat Pilot & Today Hot Air Balloon Rodeo. Balloons will return for the second and final day Sunday. (Photo by John F. Russell)

The 40th annual Steamboat Pilot & Today Hot Air Balloon Rodeo took flight Saturday filling the sky in Steamboat Springs with colorful balloons.

It was a great day for flying with the balloons lifting off as scheduled to the delight of a huge crowd of spectators.

The even will return Sunday with lift-off planned for 7 a.m. so that the pilots can take advantage of the cooler air, which is needed for the balloons to take flight.



Fog rises off Bald Eagle Lake as spectators Renee Andrews and Preston McElroy enjoy a cup of coffee while waiting for the balloons to launch. (Photo by John F. Russell)
Crew members cast their shadows on the envelope of Nerfer, which is piloted by Mike Bertetto, just prior to take off. (Photo by John F. Russell)
A balloon pilot tests his burners before taking to the sky Saturday morning. (Photo by John F. Russell)
Katy Williams, a soprano appearing as part of Opera Steamboat, sang the National Anthem on Saturday morning. Williams has performed extensively with musical groups throughout the United States. (Photo by John F. Russell)
Tim Taylor’s American flag-themed Dee III was the first to take to the sky above Steamboat Springs on Saturday. (Photo by John F. Russell)
Balloons started taking off from the Bald Eagle Lake launch site in waves shortly after dawn Saturday. (Photo by John F. Russell)
Corey Hess volunteered his shoulders so that Rufino Acar had a prime seat as balloons launched into the sky Saturday. (Photo by John F. Russell)
Spectators and crew anticipate the start of the 2021 Steamboat Pilot & Today Hot Air Balloon Rodeo at Bald Eagle Lake on Saturday. (Photo by John F. Russell)
Crew member Susan Globe helps get a balloon ready for take-off Saturday. (Photo by John F. Russell)
Balloons appear side-by-side as they inflate for take off. (Photo by John F. Russell)
Smokey Bear, piloted by Sam Parks, is a fan-favorite, but this year's wildfire season gives the balloon's presence even more meaning. (Photo by John F. Russell)
Rubber Ducky looks at home as pilot Bob O'Brien makes his way across the waters of Bald Eagle Lake on Saturday morning.. (Photo by John F. Russell)
Colorful balloons dot the sky Saturday. (Photo by John F. Russell)
The Yampa Valley sky was fills with bright colors Saturday morning. This photo shows Calico Rose piloted by Kenny Bradley and Marauder's Mark piloted by David Eichhorn.
Two hand-painted balloons were among those taking off at Bald Eagle Lake, just south of downtown Steamboat Springs. (Photo by John F. Russell)
After taking off from Bald Eagle Lake and landing in the parking lot of Ore House at the Pine Grove on Saturday morning pilot Mike Bertetto decided to offer free tethered rides to those who stopped by see the balloon. (Photo by John F. Russell)
Balloon pilots dip into the calm waters of Bald Eagle Lake on Saturday morning. Tickets for both Saturday and Sunday’s launch are sold out, but there are plenty of places to view the colorful balloons as more than 20 fill the Yampa Valley sky. (Photo by John F. Russell)
Floating Awaysis and spectators watching the balloon rodeo are reflected in the waters of Bald Eagle Lake Saturday. (Photo by John F. Russell)

 


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