Those Crazy Nights in Craig: Tribute band gives Moffat County heartfelt shoutout after playing balloon festival

Eli Pace
Those Crazy Nights, a Journey tribute band, performs during the Moffat County Hot Air Balloon Festival on Saturday, Aug. 5, 2023 at Loudy-Simpson Park in Craig.
Eli Pace/Craig Press

Taking to social media after serving as the headlining act for the Moffat County Hot Air Balloon Festival on Aug. 5 in Craig, Those Crazy Nights was blown away.

Those Crazy Nights is a Colorado-based tribute band that has toured the country while playing songs made famous by Journey. For their part, balloon festival organizers were quite impressed with the band, too.

“They were tremendous,” said Tony St. John, one of the event organizers. “I would say we’ve had a number of tribute concerts over the years, and Those Crazy Nights was right up on top as one of the best. They were absolutely fantastic.”

The weather didn’t cooperate Saturday night for the planned balloon glow, in which the hot air balloons would have remained tethered to the ground as the pilots fired up their burners to make the different balloon designs glow for a nighttime spectacle.

However, more than a half dozen balloon pilots still set up behind the stage for a candlestick glow where they fired up their burners without the balloons overhead, sending flames into the air as Those Crazy Nights entertained the crowd at Loudy-Simpson Park.

“Moffat County, Craig, Steamboat, CO … You’ve officially blown us away!” the band wrote on its Facebook page after the concert. “What a huge, electric crowd we had in the Yampa Valley on Saturday! We are so grateful to have been a part of such an awesome event! Thank you to the Moffat County Hot Air Balloon Festival for inviting us to perform!”

The band added that “the hospitality was so on point,” and put out a special thanks to Rockfan Entertainment for “the killer sound and lighting,” as well as to all the event sponsors.

“And of course BIG Thanks to the many dedicated Aeronauts who provided the spectacular balloon glow Pyro display behind the stage,” the band concluded. “You guys really made the night spectacular! We cannot wait to do it again!”

In addition to the balloons, the annual festival in Craig also features a number of fun events including a color run, rubber duck race, classic car show, bounce houses, numerous food and other vendors and much more.

Reflecting on this year’s balloon festival, St. John described it as “a big success,” saying that the festival had more retail and food vendors than ever before and many of the sponsors and festival-goers have told him how great they thought it was.

He added that organizers are already looking forward to next year’s festival, “so be ready because it’s going to fun, fun, fun.”

The crowd gets into the music as Those Crazy Nights performs on Saturday, Aug. 5, 2023, for the Moffat County Hot Air Balloon Festival.
Eli Pace/Craig Press
Pilots fire up their burners during the candlestick glow on Saturday, Aug. 5, 2023, at the Moffat County Hot Air Balloon Festival.
Eli Pace/Craig Press
Johnell Reed of Craig fires up a hot air balloon’s burner during the candlestick glow on Saturday, Aug. 5, 2023.
Eli Pace/Craig Press

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