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Hot air balloons fly above Memorial Park and Prospect Lake during the 2019 Labor Day Lift Off on Saturday, August 31. Photo Credit: Spencer McKee, The Gazette.

The annual Labor Day Lift Off will occur this year, not as a mass gathering near downtown Colorado Springs, but as a community-wide event that allows residents to watch from their homes.

The annual hot air balloon festival, which draws thousands to Memorial Park each Labor Day weekend, will instead feature 35-40 balloon launches from roughly 15 sites across the city, which won't be announced to the public and may change the morning of the launches, set to occur Saturday, Sept. 5, and Sunday, Sept. 6, event director Scott Appelman told KKTV.

"The Colorado Springs community will be able to experience early morning balloon launches while balloons fill the city skyline," Appelman said.

Additionally, "pop up" balloon-glows the nights of Friday, Sept. 4, and Saturday, Sept. 5, are planned. If state and local restrictions allow, limited in-person viewing may be offered, Appleman said.

"This is going to be one of very few balloon events in the world that actually happen," Appleman told KKTV. "We're really excited about a new challenge and making this happen."

The main goal is to sustain the 43-year tradition, Appleman said.

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