Balloons, Telluride Main StreetOn September 19, 1783, a scientist named Pilatre De Rozier launched the first hot air balloon. “Aerostat Reveillon” stayed in the air for a grand total of 15 minutes before crashing back to earth with its passengers: a sheep, a duck, and a rooster.

The first manned attempt came two months later with a balloon made by two French brothers, Joseph and Etienne Montgolfier. Launched from the centre of Paris, the vessel flew for 20 minutes.

Fast-forward about 200 years, in 1987, Virgin tycoon Sir Richard Branson and Per Lindstrand were the first to cross the Atlantic in a hot air, rather than a helium/gas, balloon.

Four years later, the same team made it across the Pacific.

In 1999, Branson and Lindstrand attempted and failed the first around the world balloon flight. Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones made it in just under 20 days, landing in Africa and smashing all previous distance records.

The goals are less ambitious and far-reaching, but no less exciting for the pilots assembled in town this weekend for the 29th annual Telluride Balloon Festival, this weekend. Saturday scheduled is as follows:

Saturday, June 2: Telluride Town Park

6:15 a.m. Pilot Briefing

6:30 a.m. Inflation begins in Town Park

6:45-7 a.m. Balloons fly from Town Park

All events are weather permitting. If there is no wind, several balloons will tether in Town Park for tethered rides for all in attendance.
A local youth group will be selling coffee, hot chocolate, and baked goods as a fundraiser. All are asked to support these kids’ efforts.
n Park

Main Street Telluride

6:00 p.m. Main Street Closed between Aspen and Willow

7:30 p.m. Pilot Briefing in front of New Sheridan Hotel

8-8:45 Inflation of Tethered Balloons on Main Street

8:45 – 9:30 p.m. Main Street GLO

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