Poor weather threatened to derail the Autumn Aloft event in Park City last weekend, but when it came down to it, the skies cleared and the sun came out to provide a great weekend of flights. Autumn Aloft hasn’t occurred regularly for 20 years, but was back for the second straight year. Pilots from Utah and surrounding states converged on the country club and the fields behind Treasure Mountain Middle School, which are a couple of the remaining places where pilots can still take off and land in the area.
Autumn Aloft started out chilly. Thirty degree temperatures in the shade of the hills soon gave way to a perfect, sunny day with blue skies and calm conditions overall. Ideal conditions for balloon flight. The crowd wasn’t deterred by the early start time or the cold temperatures. They were excited to experience what had been missing for so many years in Park City. The event is a rare one in that the crowd is not separated from the activity. Balloons were inflated feet from where individuals were standing. Pilots had to thread the needle a little to land, but once down, they spent a good deal of time interacting with the kids and adults alike on the ground. You could see the wonder in the eyes of children as the array of colors took off and as the pilots sent streams of fire into balloons to propel them towards the sky. Autumn Aloft was a success by all accounts, which will hopefully keep it alive for years to come.