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Park City's Autumn Aloft Returns After 20-Year Pause

File: Autumn Aloft, Mark Prothro

Park City’s Autumn Aloft Hot Air Balloon Festivalis returning after suddenly ending 20 years ago. It will coincide with the final weekend of the Parksilly Sunday Market September 19 through the 21st. Meisha Lawson is the spokeswoman for the festival. She says city leaders, residents and businesses are showing overwhelming support for the return of the event.

“It’s something that's unexplainable when the balloons kind of start to float, you get this feeling inside of you that just brings everything miraculous about what hot air balloons are and just…you can’t help but smile and be delighted,” says Lawson.

She says 15 pilots will fly in the new festival. She says the idea really took off when Mike Bauwens  became involved.

“Who is very active in the balloon community, was a part of the original Autumn Aloft, and he’s really serving as our hot air balloon expert on the event and helping us to maintain the credibility that the original Autumn Aloft had,” says Lawson

Lawson says organizers are putting the final proposals before the Park City City Council August 7th and they don’t expect any delays. She says updated information is available on line at

Bob Nelson is a graduate of the University of Utah with a BA in mass communications. He began his radio career at KUER in 1978 when it was still in Kingsbury Hall. That’s also where he met his wife, Maria Shilaos, in 1981. Bob left KUER for commercial radio where he worked for 25 years, and he is thrilled to be back at KUER. Bob and his family are part of an explorer group, fondly known as The Hordes and Masses, which has been seeking out ghost towns and little-known places in Utah for more than twenty years.
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