The 46th annual Labor Day Lift Off announces new attractions and events


COLORADO SPRINGS – Partnerships for the 46th Labor Day Lift Off with the Rainbow Ryders announced new festival highlights for 2022.

Colorado Springs Labor Day Lift Off is one of the top balloon festivals in the world US News and World Report. New data from Visit Colorado Springs estimates this event will bring in $9.4 million.

Balloons gather in Memorial Park on Friday morning, ahead of this weekend’s Labor Day Lift Off. / Krista Witiak – FOX21 News

A few traditions are returning to the festival this year:

  • Balloon Lift-Offs & Balloon Glows: 75 balloons will float in the skies of Colorado Springs for the largest balloon festival in Colorado. Daily morning balloon launches are from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m
    • The Sunset Balloon Glow begins at 7:30 p.m. on September 3rd and 4th.
  • Rainbow Ryders Hot Air Balloon Rides: Hot air balloon adventures are offered daily by Rainbow Ryders. Guests will fly among many balloons and each flight will last approximately 45 to 60 minutes.
    • The check-in tent is located in Memorial Park.
    • Prices start at $345 per person.
  • Krispy Kreme Donut Eating Contest: The annual donut-eating contest, sponsored by Krispy Kreme, takes place on September 3rd and 4th at 9:00 am on the main stage.
The 2016 Labor Day Lift Off photo by Larry Marr

New festival highlights for 2022 include:

  • Colorado Springs in the air: Colorado Springs Aloft follows the Balloon Festival and takes place in September at the Banning Lewis Ranch Pavilion. The launch event includes food trucks, music, family activities and balloons.
  • special forms: The special shape balloon event includes the return of Darth Vader, Yoda and Kermit the Frog.
    • Brand new balloon shapes will also debut this year including Chris P. Bacon, Finley the Fish, Allycorn the Unicorn and Friendly Monster.
  • Orangetheory 5K Races: A major change to the festival this year is the start of the Orangetheory 5K race at Labor Lift Off, which will take place on September 4th At 9 o’clock
    • The 5 km begins at the IAFF Fallen Firefighters Memorial (northwest corner of Memorial Park), winds through Memorial Park’s side streets, around Prospect Lake, and ends at Memorial Park.
    • Before the race, all guests are invited to arrive early to watch over 75 balloons take to the skies and enjoy shopping and local vendors.
  • Labor Day Lift Off Lounge: The festival now includes a Labor Day Lift Off Lounge for an exclusive VIP experience. This special ticket grants access to free food, drinks, reserved seating, private restrooms and a parking pass. All VIP ticket purchases will be entered into a prize draw for two FREE Rainbow Ryders balloon rides.
    • VIP tickets cost $115 and can be purchased here. VIP tickets can be purchased from now until August 22nd.
  • Balloon, Brew and Bites Happy Hour: This event offers discounted drinks, live music and early access to fun activities for the whole family. Happy Hour is on September 3rd and 4th from 3:30pm to 5:30pm.
Labor Day Lift Off 3 Photo credit Shawn Shanle - FOX21 News


  • Concert Series: A concert series will be opened by local bands Missy and the Dirty Secrets and Mosquito Pass, winners of the 2021 Battle of the Bands. The series continues with fan favorites like The Martini Shot Band, Mile High Rock Band and Reminiscent Souls ft. Suga Bear & Lady Shay.
  • Fireworks show: Guests should keep an eye out for the announcement of a possible fireworks show! Will be announced at a later date.

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