BOISE, Idaho — The Spirit of Boise Classic is back in Ann Morrison Park as pilots, support staff and hot air balloon enthusiasts gathered in the morning to see the spectacle of balloons get off the ground.
Last year this festival was canceled because of the pandemic, but it's back and people were able to see dozens of hot air balloons in the sky above Boise.
"What an incomparable morning it was, we had over 40 pilots inflate their balloons by pushing outside ambient air inside their envelopes and as soon as the sun came up over the mountains we let them take off," said Jim Bock who was on the microphone for the event. "It was an amazing sight these pilots come from all over the country and they know Boise is the best place to fly in the northwest."
The 30th annual Spirit of Boise Balloon Classic kicked off bright and early this morning with hot air balloon rides for the kids!— Idaho News 6 (@IdahoNews6) September 1, 2021
Festivities continue for the rest of this week! Here's more on the events that are in store: https://t.co/FjIaCXgycf
One of those pilots is Roy Foote who took his wife on a flight 34-years-ago, Roy loved it so much the next day he came back to help be part of the crew and ended up buying a balloon, he's been flying the same balloon for the last 30 years the same amount of time that the Spirit of Boise has been around.
"I just love the flying, it's just great," said Boise native Roy Foote. "I don't mind flying with this many balloons as long as you are aware that there might be eight balloons around you at any one time."
This Spirit of Boise continues to offer those types of experiences as we ran into Boise Mayor Lauren McLean who went up in a balloon with her assistant Sara Peyton.
"It was really fun to go up together and experience that for the first time," said McLean. "It was so cool to see everybody on the ground watching and to feel so high up, but at the same time feel so close to people, it was so quiet, it was really cool and he called you a balloonatic."
"A balloonatic is when you are a fan of hot air balloons," responded Peyton, who obviously enjoyed her first flight in a balloon.
The Spirit of Boise Classic runs through the weekend and Friday night creates another special experience with the night glow, which begins around 5:00 p.m. with the actual lighting of the balloons happening around eight.
People also have the opportunity to see the balloons take flight every morning at 7:20 a.m. but people do need to know parking will be limited in Ann Morrison Park while the festival is happening.
"It is so wonderful to have a reunion and there is no better place for a hot air balloon reunion than here in Ann Morrison Park," said Bock. "I encourage everybody to come out and enjoy the sights and sounds."