Calling all hot air balloon fans (even those who don’t know they’re fans yet)! The annual Spirit of Boise Balloon Classic is happening over Labor Day weekend, 8/28-9/1. This event is a local favorite and draws crowds to Ann Morrison Park before dawn every year. Get up early and start your day by seeing dozens of hot air balloons lift off and fill the Boise sky! Be sure to bring your camera. Even amateur photographers get fantastic shots of the balloons. Come see a variety of balloon shapes and sizes; from classic balloons like RE/MAX, the American Flag, and Coca-Cola, to characters like Darth Vader, Yoda, and Looney Tunes’ Roadrunner!
Parking is first come, first serve in the park. Every morning, the event is scheduled to start at 6:45 am and run until the balloons land. This usually happens between 7:30 and 8:30. Here is the schedule of events:
8/28: CapEd Credit Union Kids Day
Kid’s Day allows children to enjoy complimentary tethered rides aboard one of their favorite hot air balloons. In addition there will be various activities for children available throughout Ann Morrison Park. Stop by before taking the kids to school! Lines get long, so the earlier you show up, the better!
8/29: Media Day
News and camera crews will be out to document the event from before setup to after landing. The public is welcome and encouraged to be part of the fun. You may even end up on the news!
8/30: VIP Launch Day and Night Glow
The official kickoff to Labor Day weekend begins in the morning with the regularly scheduled 6:45-8:30 am event. In addition, the unique 6-10 pm Night Glow event takes place. Bring your chairs, blankets, and the whole family to watch hot air balloons light up the night sky in a fabulous display. Get here early to get a parking spot and a spot on the grass.
8/31 and 9/1
Get your weekend days started bright and early with regularly scheduled events. Every day is a unique experience and is always fun.
Always dress for the morning: The mornings are cooler, but warm up quickly. Dress in layers so you can shed them as the sun comes up. Plus, the grass is often wet from morning dew, so plan accordingly. There will be opportunities to get tea, coffee, and hot chocolate near the staging area.
Taking pictures: Pilots and crews are usually happy to pose for a picture with you and your family. Make sure to ask beforehand to get permission. Also, these balloons are large and get larger when they are inflated, so closer isn’t necessarily always better.
Dogs and balloons: As much as we all love dogs, we recommend leaving them at home. The burners in the balloons emit noises that are inaudible to us, but hurt the ears of our furry friends. Please leave them at home and show them pictures after. They’ll thank you.
Chairs and blankets: Feel free to bring them with you to make yourselves more comfortable. Keep in mind that the balloons grow 20 times bigger when they are filled. If a pilot, crew member, or P.A. announcer asks you to move your chair, please do so. Everybody wants everybody to stay safe.
No smoking: For everyone’s health and safety, please don’t smoke in the field. The propane gas used to fill the balloons sinks to the ground and is incredibly flammable.
Drones: By order of the FAA, no drones are allowed on the premises. Please leave them at home.
There are other events taking place over Labor Day weekend. Check out some of our favorite events.