WASHINGTON CITY — The dawn of a chilly, 21-degree morning Friday was warmed and lit up by the fiery burners of more than 25 hot air balloons at Staheli Family Farm in Washington City.

Pilot Derek White turns up the blower of the Nemesis hot air balloon at the third annual Up & Away Hot Air Balloon and Music Festival at Staheli Family Farm, Washington City, Utah, Jan. 12, 2024 | Photo by Chris Reed, St. George News

It was the start of the third annual Up & Away Hot Air Balloon and Music Festival. The free event will continue through Saturday evening. 

Coming out of trailers or the back of pick-ups looking like a large blanket that could fit in a linen closet, pilots used large fans to initially fill the cloth envelopes to about 70,000 cubic feet. Gas burners atop baskets attached by ropes to the envelopes then lifted the combined aircraft upright while bringing welcome warmth to onlookers dressed in layers. 

Organized by the Washington Area Chamber of Commerce, the balloons will take to the sky again at 7:30 a.m. Saturday morning.

After the balloons land, a car show will be featured on the farm along with food trucks. The event moves on to Washington County Legacy Park in Hurricane with music, food and a balloon glow display after dark at 7 p.m.

Check out the photo gallery from Friday’s balloon launch.

Photo Gallery

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