Rocky Mountain BalloonFest debuts at Rocky Mountain Airshow this weekend

The Rocky Mountain BalloonFest debuts this year in conjunction with the Rocky Mountain Airshow, which takes off Aug. 24 at Rocky Mountain Metro Airport in Broomfield, Colo.

The balloons will fly Friday morning for the media and then be a big part of the Friday evening airshow following the twilight airshow performance with the “Balloon Illum.” During the Illum, the balloons will inflate at 8 pm. Once the balloons are standing and stable we hope to invite everyone to come and meet the pilots and to experience ballooning first hand. The balloons will again take flight Saturday and Sunday mornings at sunrise, 6:30 am, weather permitting.

Expected to participate in the BalloonFest is Jon Seay, who owns two of only 12 hand-painted balloons in the world. Western Spirit features cowboys riding their horses and Big Top features circus animals. The US Forest Service will bring its Smokey the Bear balloon.

Making its debut in Denver will be the Planet Earth balloon. It is the only balloon of its kind in the world. Made of 436 individual sewn cloth panels containing 100% digitally printed images of NASA’s world famous “Blue Marble” photographs of Earth. Original photographs were taken by the crew of Apollo 17 in 1972 from 28,000 miles above earth. Doug and Patty Grimes of Albuquerque, N.M., commissioned the Planet Earth Balloon to help celebrate the beauty and fragility of Earth and support NASA’s goal to raise awareness of the need to understand our home planet. Along with flying and glowing the balloon, Doug and Patty will inflate it close to the Adventure Zone for up close viewing during the day.

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