BOISE -- Hot air balloons are back in the Treasure Valley for the Spirit of Boise Balloon Classic.

They used to be a staple in the days of the River Festival, which ended after 2003.

Since then, some enthusiasts have worked to bring the balloons back.

The Spirit of Boise Balloon Classic kicked off in Ann Morrison Park Thursday morning.

If you look up at the skies over Boise this morning, there's a good chance you saw a lot of balloons flying above.

I just thought it would fun thing to do in the morning before we start school next week. I thought, 'Well, we'll just come down and watch the balloons launch. We haven't seen it in a while, said Colleen Mathias.

Around 20 hot air balloons lifted off shortly after 7 a.m.

It's really fun. I like them myself. I've always liked them. When I was a kid I got to go up in one when I was probably seven or eight, and I think he'll really like it. It will be exciting. It's fun to share with him, said Karen Fehringer.

While many could only watch, our Scott Evans was lucky enough to be a part of the story.

With experienced pilot Laurie Spencer, photographer Troy Colson and Scott were in good hands as they launched skyward in the Idaho Lottery Commission balloon.

I look at these other balloons at different altitudes to see what directions that they're going, to see where kind of I want to go, said Spencer.

The wind blew their balloon east, very slowly and surely.

It's very peaceful. It's very serene. You can have a horrible day and you can come up here and fly and it all just goes away, said Spencer.

Scott says they had a great hour-long flight, with the balloon reaching an altitude of about 2,700 feet. It also included a safe landing.

If you didn't see the hot air balloons today, don't worry, there are several more flights scheduled.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday all have flights that leave shortly after seven in the morning.

Then on Saturday night around 6:30 p.m. there will be glowing balloons. All of the launches will be at Ann Morrison Park.

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