Labor Day Lift Off organizers announce plans for annual event

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - The Labor Day Lift Off event in Colorado Springs will happen this September, but it will look different than it has in the past.

Organizers of the annual festival, which typically draws thousands of people to Memorial Park over Labor Day weekend, are planning a community-wide event instead. Plans are set to be announced Tuesday, organizers tell 11 News.

"This is going to be one of very few balloon events in the world that actually happen. We're really excited about a new challenge and making this happen." said event director Scott Appleman.

This year, 35 to 40 balloons will launch from about 15 sites across the city, including parks, schools, and other public areas. People likely won't be able to gather to watch the launch in person. Instead, organizers are hoping they'll watch from their homes.

"A little bit less accessible to people, but very visible," said Appleman. "We've been doing site visits and looking for things and working with landowners and the community to get permission."

Organizers have some tentative sites selected, but they're subject to change the morning of the flights. Those sites will not be announced to the public. Appleman said they have to wait to determine if state and local restrictions will allow gatherings before determining whether in-person viewing will be allowed.

There will be no vendors or events in one centralized location.

Appleman said his goal is to provide something for people to see and enjoy anyway.

"Our main goal is to sustain Labor Day Lift Off," he said. "We're 43 years into this event."

A launch will happen on Saturday, Sept. 5 and Sunday, Sept. 6. A "pop-up" balloon glow is planned for both Friday and Saturday nights. The locations for the glow haven't been determined yet.

There are no events planned on Labor Day.

KKTV is a sponsor of the Labor Day Lift Off.