Telluride’s annual Balloon Festival is considered a smaller festival, but nonetheless a beautiful occasion and a seasonal favorite of many. Over a dozen hot-air balloons launch from Town Park at sunrise and sail their way down the valley where they eventually touch down about a mile outside of town. It is not uncommon for the earliest bystanders to be allowed direct involvement with the inflation, and ultimately the riding, of the hot air balloons.
The festival, or “Balloon Fest”, starts this Friday June 5th, and runs through Sunday the 7th. Saturday will likely be the busiest day of the weekend beginning with an early morning launch in Town Park and ending the day with a ceremony called the “Glow” being held on Main Street that evening. The Glow is a spectacle in which the pilots of the balloons stand in Main Street and ignite their propane, which makes the balloons glow and illuminates the entire area. Balloons will launch once again on Sunday morning and rides will be offered both Saturday and Sunday with limited slots. Those willing to arrive early (6a.m.) and offer assistance in the inflation of the balloons will be more likely to be selected for a ride.
This festival hinges heavily on the cooperation of the weather and the balloons will not launch if windy conditions exist. If conditions prevail, Balloon Fest is a truly memorable experience and is completely free!