Hot air balloons take flight during last year’s Moffat County Hot Air Balloon Festival. This year’s event is scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Loudy-Simpson Park and Yampa Valley Golf Course.

File photo

Hot air balloons take flight during last year’s Moffat County Hot Air Balloon Festival. This year’s event is scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Loudy-Simpson Park and Yampa Valley Golf Course.

Second annual Balloon Festival takes flight Friday

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2011 Moffat County Hot Air Balloon Festival schedule:

Friday, Aug. 19

• 9 a.m. Hot Air Scramble

• 6 to 7 p.m. Pilot meet and greet

• 7 to 9 p.m. Dancing under the stars

Saturday, Aug. 20

• 6:30 to 8 a.m. Balloon launches

• 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Air and Space Museum children’s activities

• 5:30 p.m. Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4265 flag pole dedication and ceremony

• 9 p.m. Balloon glow

• 10 p.m. to midnight. Dancing under the stars

— Other activities: Bouncy house, face painting, horseshoe tournament, Zephyr helicopter rides and parachute jumpers

Sunday, Aug. 21

• 6:30 to 8 a.m. Balloon launches

• Pilot awards ceremony

*All events are scheduled for Lousy-Simpson Park, except for the Hot Air Scramble at Yampa Valley Golf Course

Organizer Ray Beck said there are four key ingredients to a successful Moffat County Hot Air Balloon Festival: sponsors, pilots, good weather and attendees.

“We’ve got two of those things taken care of,” Beck said. “Now all we need is good weather and a lot of people to show up.”

The second annual festival is scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Loudy-Simpson Park and Yampa Valley Golf Course.

The event kicks off at 9 a.m. Friday with the Hot Air Scramble at the golf course, 2179 Colo. Hwy. 394.

The four-person team tournament is limited to the first 30 paid teams. Space is still available. The cost is $50 per person and includes green fees, cart, range balls and a free weekend pass to the festival.

Each player will receive a certificate from event sponsor Warrior Custom Golf valued at $200. There will also be payoffs for net and gross winners as well as door prizes.

To register, call Jason Back at Yampa Valley Golf Course at 824-3673 by 1 p.m. Thursday.

Activities continue at 6 p.m. Friday with a pilot meet-and-greet at Loudy-Simpson Park.

This year’s festival features nine balloons from the Denver metro area, the Front Range and Utah.

Dancing under the stars follows at 7 p.m.

Balloons take flight between 6:30 and 8 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday highlights include numerous children’s activities as well as a horseshoe tournament and Zephyr helicopter rides.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4265 is scheduled to dedicate a new flag pole at 5:30 p.m. Saturday. A balloon glow at 9 p.m. follows. There will be dancing from 10 p.m. to midnight.

A variety of vendors will be on hand throughout the weekend selling food and arts and crafts.

Beck is hopeful the balloon festival will be a summer attraction in Craig for years to come. He said he appreciates the 24 sponsors that have helped make this year’s Balloon Festival a reality.

“Without our generous sponsors, this wouldn’t have happened,” Beck said.

Admission to the festival is $5 per person for the entire weekend.

For more information about the festival, visit www.mcballoonfestival.com or call Ray Beck at 824-4994.

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