The annual Labor Day Lift Off will occur this year, not as a mass gathering near downtown Colorado Springs, but as a communitywide event that allows residents to watch from their homes.
The annual hot air balloon festival, which draws thousands to Memorial Park each Labor Day weekend, will instead feature 35-40 simultaneous balloon launches from 10-12 sites across the city, which won't be announced to the public and may change the morning of the launches, set to occur Saturday, Sept. 5, and Sunday, Sept. 6, event director Scott Appelman said.
"The Colorado Springs community will be able to experience early morning balloon launches while balloons fill the city skyline," Appelman said.
Additionally, "pop up" balloon-glows the nights of Friday, Sept. 4, and Saturday, Sept. 5, are planned. If state and local restrictions allow, limited in-person viewing may be offered, Appelman said.
"This is going to be one of very few balloon events in the world that actually happen," Appelman told KKTV. "We're really excited about a new challenge and making this happen."
The main goal is to sustain the 43-year tradition, Appelman said.