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Summerfest Balloon Bash
Join us at this free family celebration at the Summerfest Balloon Bash! There will be hot air balloon launches and rides, music, games, and food.
Smokey will be 97’ tall and airborne this weekend at the Summerfest Balloon Bashin El Jebel: the Friends of Smokey Bear Balloon will be one of many hot air balloons flying at the free community celebration, June 8-9 at Crown Mountain Park.
The Smokey Bear Balloon is owned by a non-profit corporation dedicated to assisting federal, state and local agencies with wildfire prevention education. It requires a crew of 12-15 personnel to set it up and inflate it, and chase crew personnel to ensure a safe landing.
At the El Jebel event, 14 wildland firefighters from the Upper Colorado River Interagency Fire Management Unit will be providing balloon support. Many of these firefighters fought last summer’s Lake Christine Fire near El Jebel and Basalt, which burned more than 12,000 acres and destroyed several homes.
The Lake Christine Fire was human-caused. Its burn scar is visible from Crown Mountain Park, and it provides a poignant backdrop for the Smokey Bear Balloon:
“Smokey has been the icon of wildfire prevention for 75 years,” said Scott Fitzwilliams, Supervisor of the White River National Forest where the Lake Christine Fire burned, “The Smokey Balloon brings attention to his messaging, and its contrast against this burned hillside is a stark reminder that most wildfires- nearly 9 out of 10 in the U.S- are caused by humans.”
Smokey himself will make appearances at the Summerfest Balloon Bash to see his balloon likeness and to remind the community to always be careful with fire.
- The balloon holds 145,000 cubic feet of air
- It is 97 feet tall (including the basket)
- The diameter at the hat brim is 72 feet
- The total balloon weight is 1,130 pounds