Dozens of balloons ascended Saturday morning on the first day of the Colorado Springs Labor Day Lift Off at Memorial Park.

The balloon festival runs Saturday through Monday.

Balloons are scheduled to lift off at 7 a.m. on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. The balloon glow happens at 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday evening.

Organizers are "pretty optimistic about the weather the entire weekend." Balloons are permitted to leave the ground as long as wind speeds don’t exceed 10 mph, according to Labor Day Lift Off manager Scott Appleman.

Axe throwing, an Air Force skydiving demonstration, yoga and a Dunkin' donut eating contest, and live music performances, are among the events and activities happening at this weekend's festival.

Smoking, pets and tents are not allowed on the field.

A few balloons are making their debut on this year's Labor Day Lift Off lineup. Look out for a frog, a heart, a scarecrow, a dragon, and a lion.

Don't expect any "splash and dashing" this year. Prospect Lake at Memorial Park remains closed because of a harmful blue-green algae bloom. Swimming, bathing, paddle boarding, non-motorized boating of any kind, and water activities are banned. The blue-green algae produces a toxin that can be deadly to dogs, and pets are not allowed in the water. 

Terry is a journalist and social media manager for The Gazette. He's a graduate of the University of Denver, loves the Denver Broncos, and is a member of the Television Critics Association and Broadcast Television Journalists Association.

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