Balloons take off at Bald Eagle Lake during the Hot Air Balloon Rodeo in 2011. This year's event is from 6:30 to 9:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. The launch field opens at 6 a.m., and public transportation from the Meadows Parking Lot begins at 6 a.m.

File photo

Balloons take off at Bald Eagle Lake during the Hot Air Balloon Rodeo in 2011. This year's event is from 6:30 to 9:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. The launch field opens at 6 a.m., and public transportation from the Meadows Parking Lot begins at 6 a.m.

Hot Air Balloon Rodeo returns to Steamboat Springs this weekend

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Past Event

Hot Air Balloon Rodeo

  • Saturday, July 13, 2013, 6 a.m.
  • Bald Eagle Lake, U.S. Highway 40 east of Steamboat Springs, Steamboat Springs
  • Not available / Free

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Past Event

Hot Air Balloon Rodeo: Balloon Glow

  • Saturday, July 13, 2013, 8 p.m.
  • Steamboat Ski Area, Mount Werner Road, Steamboat Springs
  • Not available

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Past Event

Hot Air Balloon Rodeo

  • Sunday, July 14, 2013, 6 a.m.
  • Bald Eagle Lake, U.S. Highway 40 east of Steamboat Springs, Steamboat Springs
  • Not available / Free

More

— Salt Lake City resident Tim Taylor married his wife in a hot air balloon 25 years ago and bought the same balloon.

“And I’ve flown ever since,” he said.

This will be Taylor’s third year taking part in the Hot Air Balloon Rodeo, an event he said he plans to make an annual tradition.

The event runs from 6:30 to 9:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Balloons will begin inflating at 6 a.m. and will launch from Bald Eagle Lake.

There is no public parking at the event, so free transportation is provided from Meadows Parking Lot on Pine Grove Road. Transportation from the lots begins at 6 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Dogs are not allowed at the event.

“We’re really excited about this event,” said Nikki Inglis, spokeswoman for the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association. “The weather was beautiful (Friday) for flights. There was barely any wind, and the pilots were happy.”

For those like Taylor, the event serves as a vacation for his family, and the weather and location allow for some of the best flying around.

With the layers of air created in the Yampa Valley, he said, it allows balloons a calm ride.

On Friday, he was able to go out for about two hours and land in the spot from which he took off.

“With a mountain on one side and another mountain on the other side, it creates a nice little cavern to fly in,” he said.

Also at this year's event, the Balloon Glow will be revived at 8 p.m. Saturday at the base of Steamboat Ski Area. Balloons will begin inflating at 8 p.m. with a countdown set for 8:45 p.m.

The balloons will be tethered down but will illuminate. The last time the Balloon Glow was held was in 2003.

“We’ve wanted to bring it back for a long time,” Inglis said. “We’ve been trying to bring it back for years and finally got the OK.”

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com

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