Moffat County Balloon Festival offering more balloons, more activities in sixth year

Craig Daily Press Staff Report
Balloon pilot Jack Nisley, of Grand Junction, provides a show for spectators during the evening balloon glow of the 2014 Moffat County Balloon Festival. This year's event starts Saturday with an early morning launch by 22 balloons, followed by events including a car show, pie-eating contest, beer garden, free concert and more.
Courtesy Photo

The sixth annual Moffat County Balloon Festival heats up Saturday and Sunday at Loudy-Simpson Park, with plenty of activities in both the skies and on the ground.

A field of 22 balloonists — the greatest number to date — will be launching at 6:30 a.m. each day, weather permitting filling the air with a rainbow of colors.

On Saturday, immediately following the launch will be the Elevate Education 5K and One-Mile Fun Run, offered by Friends of Moffat County Education that also includes a bookmobile and a donation collection of school supplies by Love INC of the Yampa Valley.

For the earliest risers, a selection of breakfast burritos will be available, while a hearty breakfast that includes bacon, eggs and all-you-can-eat pancakes will fill you up from 7 to 10 a.m. amid the sounds of chainsaws that can be heard once again as Balloon Festival hosts familiar faces from Whittle the Wood Rendezvous carving up some new art.

The Colorado Cruisers Car Show will have plenty of wheels of classic and contemporary cars, trucks and bikes on display from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., alongside features like Bernie Rose Story Hour, free wagon rides, the Veterans of Foreign Wars beer garden, food and crafts vendors and exhibitions from radio-controlled car enthusiasts, Classic Air Medical helicopter pilots and Colorado Northwestern Community College Four-Wheelers Club.

Also, be on the lookout for the rootin’-tootin’ triggermen of the Cowboy Action Shoot and heavy-duty vehicles coming up from Colowyo.

Get your competitive spirit on, or cheer on those who are involved with games like Village Inn’s pie-eating contest, the over-the-line tournament and the wet and wild stand-up paddleboard event.

Wrap up the day with some good vibrations, courtesy of a free concert by Beach Boys tribute act Kahuna Beach Party, but remember the best is yet to come as the sun sets and the balloon glow gets started, lighting up the nighttime sky to conclude another memorable year.

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