Scott Spencer, the man to thank for the Spirit of Boise Balloon Classic each year, received the Boise mayor’s highest honor Friday: a key to the city.
Spencer and his wife, Laurie, first organized the Spirit of Boise Balloon Classic in 1991 as a part of the Boise River Festival. It has evolved to a stand-alone event that sees more than 40 balloons launched each day for five days every summer.
Spirit of Boise’s Night Glow draws huge crowds to Ann Morrison Park to watch the balloons light up, and the morning events bring people out of bed around sunrise for a chance to watch dozens of balloons take off.
Mayor David Bieter presented Spencer with the award during a ceremony at the Boise Depot, saying the balloons have become “part of who we are as a city” as one such balloon served as a backdrop to the ceremony.
“No one is more passionate about Boise than Scott Spencer,” Bieter said. “His love for this city helped him make the Spirit of Boise Balloon Classic one of Boise’s great traditions. Those five days, thanks to Scott, are a delightful summer rite for all Boiseans.”
Spencer’s key is inscribed with language thanking him “For Tireless Labors to Bring Delight and Wonder to Our City Each Summer; And Helping to Define and Foster the True ‘Spirit of Boise.’”
Spencer has stage four colon cancer and has undergone chemotherapy.