In just over a week Olympic City USA will be welcoming back the Labor Day Lift Off, an event presented by the Colorado Springs Sports Corp. and Albuquerque-based Hot Apple Productions. The party runs from Sept. 3-5 at Memorial Park, and balloons will be provided.

The city’s 40-year tradition of hot air ballooning will continue with what is one of the 10-largest hot air balloon events in the country. The event is free to the public and thousands of fans are expected over three days.

“The Sport Corp. is in a 50/50 partnership with Hot Apple Productions and we’re going into our third year,” said Sports Corp. President and CEO Tom Osborne.

Jeff Mosher, special projects manager with the Sports Corp., said there will be lots of new events this year, to include wakeboarding and wake surfing demonstrations and competitions, as well as opportunities for stand-up paddleboarding and more.

“The Wings of Blue [skydiving team] will be landing in the launch field. Once they land, we’ll be turning the launch field into a free-for-all activity thing,” Mosher said.

That will include Ultimate disc competitions, disc golf, regular golf clinics for kids, a chance to meet the Colorado Springs Switchbacks on Sunday, as well as Zorb Soccer, which involves players donning giant blowup balls before playing a match.

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“The trick is you can’t get close to another payer without running into each other,” Mosher said.

Live music is planned for the evenings and almost every event and activity is free, according to Osborne.

This year will include a 7 a.m. inflation and lift off each day, and a pair of 7 p.m. evening balloon glows Sept. 3-4. As the sun sets at Memorial Park, and if weather permits, the hot air balloons are lit against the night sky.

Last year’s event attracted more than 150,000 fans during the five sessions, and as many as 70 colorful balloons are expected this year.

And the group is seeking volunteers to serve as balloon crews. The group says it would be a great team-building opportunity. Call Jessica Bair at 352-1590 or sign up here.

 

 

Labor Day Lift Off Schedule:

Saturday, Sept. 3

Morning session

6 a.m. Field and Concessions Open

6:30 a.m. Presentation of Colors and National Anthem

7 a.m. Balloon “Lift Off”

9:45 a.m. Wings of Blue Skydivers

Immediately After Wings of Blue — Sports Exposition (Ultimate Frisbee, Disc Golf, First Tee, Zorb Soccer)

10 a.m. Stand-Up Paddle Board Rental

 

Evening session

3:30 p.m. Field and Concessions Open

4 p.m. Wakeboarding Competition

4 p.m. Austin Young Band

6:30 p.m. Suga Bear and the Showtime Band

7:30 p.m. Balloon Glow

8:45 p.m. Suga Bear and the Showtime Band

10 p.m. Field and Concessions Close

 

Sunday, Sept. 4

Morning session

6 a.m. Field and Concessions Open

6:30 a.m. Presentation of Colors and National Anthem

7 a.m. Balloon “Lift Off”

9:45 a.m. Wings of Blue Skydivers

Immediately After Wings of Blue — Sports Exposition with The Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC (Ultimate Frisbee, Disc Golf, First Tee, Zorb Soccer)

10 a.m. Wakeboarding/Surf Demonstrations, Clinics and Lessons

10 a.m. Stand-Up Paddle Board Rental

 

Evening session

3:30 p.m. Field and Concessions Open

4 p.m. Austin Young Band

6:30 p.m. Suga Bear and the Showtime Band

7:30 p.m. Balloon Glow

8:45 p.m. Suga Bear and the Showtime Band

10 p.m. Field and Concessions Close

 

Monday, Sept. 5

Morning session

6 a.m. Field and Concessions Open

6:30 a.m. Presentation of Colors and National Anthem

7 a.m. Balloon “Lift Off”

10 a.m. Field and Concessions Close