BOISE, Idaho — The Spirit of Boise Balloon Classic will take to the skies over Ann Morrison Park this week, its 31st year flying over Boise.
The event is free and runs from Friday, August 31 through Sunday, September 4. All launches are weather-permitting, with most taking place between 7:15 and 9 a.m..
Attendees can look forward to “Kids’s Day” on Wednesday, where kids can take a free tethered ride in a balloon, the “Night Glow Spectacular” where balloons will be lit up under moonlight, and the “Dawn Patrol”, an early-morning flight.
The event will also host a tribute to longtime KTVB meteorologist Larry Gebert, who passed away in April.
Gebert was heavily involved with the Balloon Classic, broadcasting from it every year. The event will honor him with a speech before a lone balloon is launched. The balloon will carry three pennants that will float through the wind.
“He impacted us down here at the Balloon Classic just because of who he was and what he did,” Laurie Spencer, producer for the Spirit of Boise Balloon Classic said. “He greeted everyone with a smile, everyone was a friend, and he gave so much to the community. If you looked at his calendar, every day was jam-packed full of stuff and we were so lucky to be able to have a very small part of him for so many years.”
Fifty balloons will be launching over the course of the week, including special-shaped balloons of a sloth, tiger and rocket ship.
The event has been a staple of Boise since 1999, when it took place at the Boise River Festival. In 2010 the event became the Spirit of Boise Balloon Classic.
“We help make memories for those people. It’s one of the things I enjoy most,” Spencer said.
Even if you don’t attend the event, you may still spot balloons soaring through the sky over downtown Boise.
“As you’re going to work in the morning, you might see these balloons light up,” Spencer said. “They’re going to look like 75-foot tall Chinese lanterns floating through the sky and it is amazing.”
Schedule of events:
6:45 a.m. – Balloons are on the launch field for Day 1
7:25 a.m. – “Cap Ed Kid’s Day”
6:30 a.m. – Balloons are at the park
7:20 a.m. – Optional Flight for Media Day
7:10 a.m. - Tribute launch in honor of Larry Gebert
7:20 a.m. – Mandatory flight
5:30 p.m. – Night Glow Activates begin: Food, vendors, and live music
8:05 p.m. – “Nite Glow Spectacular”
6:00 a.m. – Dawn Patrol
7:20 a.m. Mandatory flight
6:00 a.m. – Dawn Patrol
7:20 a.m. – Final flight
Larry Gebert: In Loving Memory
Watch more stories and tribute about Larry in our Youtube playlist: