Entertainment

The Spirit of Boise Balloon Classic takes to the skies next week

The 24th Spirit of Boise Balloon Classic will soar over the city from Ann Morrison Park. Balloons have been a fixture in Boise since the 1970s when Lighter Than Air America owner Scott Spencer started flying over his hometown. Spencer and his wife, Laurie, who are both professional pilots, fly balloons for Coca-Cola, Disney and other corporations.

WHAT’S NEW THIS YEAR:

•  The balloons will take off from a new location on the east side of Ann Morrison Park. The move is to protect new sod in the park.



•  The Spencers will unveil a new balloon on Kid’s Day. What it looks like is top secret. The only hint Spencer would give is that it’s a whimsical-shaped balloon, and it weighs 800 pounds, which is huge. (His Mickey Mouse balloon weighs 365 pounds.)



•  The Nite Glow concert moved from Friday to Saturday night.



SCHEDULE

•  Sept. 2: Kid’s Day, about 20 balloons will offer free, short, tethered rides to kids. Last year, nearly 2,000 kids went up, Spencer says.



•  Sept. 3: Media Day, traditional launch of 30 balloons.



•  Sept. 4: VIP Day, traditional launch of all 48 balloons.



•  Sept. 5: The Governor’s Cup competition takes off in the morning, then the Nite Glow starts at 6 p.m. with music by Soul Patch. The balloons will start glowing at 8:15 p.m. Bring a picnic or purchase food on site at this alcohol-free event.



•  Sept. 6: Last Dance and a possible “Great Launch” of all 48 balloons within 30 seconds, weather permitting.



(Morning launches go up between 7:10 and 7:15 a.m., weather permitting. Schedule is subject to change.)

Sept. 2-6, Ann Morrison Park, 1000 Americana Blvd., Boise. SpiritOfBoise.com. Free.

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