When the leaves are preparing to change color, summer comes to an end and Colorado has a new attitude; this is what makes you appreciate the state even more. When you are here, you will see every single season. And at the start of Fall, we were determined to see the hot air balloon festival in Snowmass Village. The weekend of September 8th through 10th, Town Park hosts all 3 days worth of morning balloon races, free face painting and bouncy castles. In addition to that, Saturday night includes Snowmass Septemberfest for food, drinks and a night glow balloon show. I know what you’re thinking, how the hell do hot air balloons race eachother? Right. Because I was thinking the same damn thing…
We set out to leave Denver early on Saturday morning, this wasn’t a difficult drive, just a bit time consuming. Ideally I would’ve preferred to spend the entire weekend, staying the night in Snowmass, in order to avoid rushing, but we just didn’t plan enough in advance. I hope you can take the lesson from me. Each morning for the 3 days the lift off begins at 7AM, the various air balloons race forward towards a target above the golf course, once elevated and beautifully scatter above Snowmass Valley.
Those who arrive late unfortunately only get to catch the balloons as they are coming back down, so you definitely want to make sure and arrive on time. Each balloon is unique and full of personality, my daughter and I were big fans of the Marvin the Martian balloon and of course the ‘C’ Colorado Flag balloon proudly representing up there. This portion lasts from 7AM – 10AM, everything was well scheduled, music was playing, people were socializing, public parking was pleasant and well facilitated; I really appreciated how organized it was at Town Park. Although, we only saw one bouncy castle for the kids and one face painting station to accommodate to ALL the kids at the event… on a Saturday. My kid wasn’t having it, even at 13 she was very clear, “Uhh no, I’m not waiting for that!”. My hope is they would get more for the kids in the morning festivities, I’m talking like 5 jumping castles and 5 face painting stations, painting and craft station, maybe a few balloon animal artist making swords and princess hats… you know? But I’m also not running the show, so all I can do is offer an opinion.
My daughter and I enjoyed the views, took tons of photos and had a relaxing rest of the morning. By 10, we decided to go into the main town where the Snowmass Mall was. Which really wasn’t a Mall like we have at home, but more like an area by the lifts where there are boutiques, restaurants, and outdoor stores. So after doing typical touristy things, like looking at clothes, eating snacks and buying a caramel apple to bring home (yes that’s so us), we took off and headed back home. My daughter and I truly bond on day trips like these, we see new things, we take the long drives where we talk about life and tell each other our thoughts and goals. Its just my favorite damn thing.
When we left, I was well aware that I was going to miss out on their Septemberfest that evening, with wine and food between 4PM-7PM to be held right at Snowmass Base Village. And even more regretfully, I knew I would miss the night glow balloon show from 7:15PM-9! Visitors can bring camping chairs or blankets to sprawl out on the lawn at Base Village to enjoy the show, this I know we will have to be sure and catch next year.
A few details I wanted to add, this is an Annual event so it will occur every year, entry into the event and parking is Free. Stop by Glenwood Springs if you are making a weekend of it! Because from Denver its on the way… Coming from Denver, requires you to take I-70 West until you hit Glenwood Springs, before taking 82 to Snowmass. The next post following this, will be full on Fall Mode, so I hope you’re ready for that red, yellow, and orange!
The Snowmass Balloon Festival
Snowmass Village, CO
Song for the Post: Dej Loaf – No Fear
Thanks for reading guys!