Colorado Balloon Classic as colorful as ever

Sept. 9, 2013

April Wefler
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Celebrating its 37th year, the Colorado Balloon Classic launched 84 hot air balloons Aug. 31, including a Smokey the Bear balloon and another inspired by the musical “Wicked.” Rides cost $600 or $295 per person.

Patsy Buchwald, president of the Classic since 1996, has been involved with the event since 1984.

She said she first heard about the event when her family went to it and they were so excited that she had to go also.

“[It was] magical. Life has never been the same,” she said, adding that it was “so big, majestic, beautiful.”

Buchwald said what she most enjoys about the Balloon Classic is the reactions on people’s faces at seeing the balloons launched.

“I love looking at the happy faces in the crowd, hearing the cheers as the balloons lift off,” she said.

“All the color in the sky … really peaceful, just kind of floating. You don’t get dirty,” added Chip Coughlin, crew director and computer consultant for the Classic.