Hot air, er hare, in Snowmass |

Hot air, er hare, in Snowmass

Aspen Times Staff ReportAspen, CO Colorado
energizer.comThe Energizer Bunny Hot Hare will make an appearance at the Snowmass Balloon Festival, which begins Thursday.

SNOWMASS VILLAGE Theyll be more hot air in Snowmass Village this weekend than there has been on the national political stage of late, according to organizers of the annual Snowmass Balloon Festival.This years event will bring out the tallest hot-air balloon in the United States the Energizer Bunny Hot Hare to join in the various competitions that begin Thursday morning, organizers announced Wednesday.The bunny balloon is reportedly 15 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty and its ears alone are as large as George Washingtons face on Mount Rushmore. Its held together wth 84 miles of thread and its double-burners produce 30 million BTUs per hour equal to the heat of 5,000 gas barbecue grills, according to the towns event promotion folks. It will take a crew of as many as 20 people to help it lift off and land.Still, the bunny is but one of some 30 balloons expected to rise over Snowmass Village on Thursday through Saturday.The public is welcome to watch the daily balloon launch from the town softball fields between 7 and 8 a.m. The spectating is free. The Saturday night Balloon Glow when the tethered, illuminated balloons create a striking scene against the evening sky, begins at 6 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 11 Hare and Hound Chase: pilots and members of the media chase a hare balloon around Snowmass Village.Friday, Sept. 12 Colorado Rat Race: Timed distance race spans the length of the Roaring Fork Valley.Saturday, Sept. 13 Dawn Quixote: Balloons alight to joust with, and ultimately pop, tethered weather balloons. Balloon Glow at 6 p.m. includes a barbecue (all food priced at less than $8) and a free concert by Jeff Finlan.Sunday, Sept. 14 Target Tubing: Balloons dash over the Snowmass Club golf course ponds while the crew members aim tennis balls into huge, floating tubes.Go to for more information.

Incidentally, the Snowmass Village Rotary Wine Festival also takes place this weekend. It begins with a four-course Winemakers Dinner Friday at 6:30 p.m. at the Artisan in the Stonebridge Inn. Chef David Von Holten will prepare a four-course dinner paired with Australian wines from Penfolds. Tickets are $125; call (970) 923-4036 to find out if any remain available On Saturday, the event continues with a noon champagne tasting; wine tasting begins at 12:30 p.m. on the Snowmass Village mall. Attendees will find some 200 wines to sample, along with food tastings. A silent auction and music from Bobby Mason & Friends are also planned. Tickets are $50, available at the festival entrance and in advance from Sundance Liquor & Gifts and Daly Bottle Shop, both in Snowmass Village.

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