Plans change, the wind shifts and some people might be blown off course, but there’s no suppressing one of Moffat County’s signature events.
The eighth annual Moffat County Balloon Festival has no problem drawing people to Loudy-Simpson Park each year for the brisk early morning occasion of seeing hot air balloons in all their glory, though the skies above were a little more difficult to manage.
Pilots were unable to take off Saturday after a test flight revealed harsh winds above 500 feet.
Nevertheless, even the sight of the bulbous beauties on the ground was a sight to behold for most spectators, and though balloonists weren’t able to soar as high as possible, a quick float a few hundred feet up was a thrill.
Nylon giants towered over the crowd Saturday morning in the form of circus artwork, floral patterns, Marvin the Martian, the Spirit of ’76 and all the colors of the rainbow in all varieties of designs.
Friends Kaylynn Olmedo, of Rifle, and Genny Oliva, of Glenwood Springs, said being in the gondola of a balloon was something of a bucket list item for them.
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“It wasn’t that high up, but it was enough for me,” Olmedo laughed. “We’ve always wanted to see balloons like this, and we figured there was a festival near us we’d come up.”
The pair rose well before dawn to make it north to Craig in time took to the air Colorado Springs’ David Yob.
On the other side of the field, Loveland’s Dave and Shari Vines were providing solo adventures in their Cloudhopper — titled Brickyard with a racing theme — as patrons were seated free of a basket to test the propane and take it for a quick spin.
The Vines have made it to Craig for four of the…
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