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Autumn Aloft hot air balloon festival is over and out

Autumn Aloft in 2021.
Parker Malatesta
Autumn Aloft in 2021.

The popular annual hot air balloon festival Autumn Aloft is a thing of the past in Park City.

Historic Park City Alliance Executive Director Ginger Wicks said Tuesday that Autumn Aloft will not be returning to Park City.

HPCA helped organize Autumn Aloft last year by contracting an event organizer and assisting with funding. Wicks said the HPCA approached others about taking over local management, but were unable to find a replacement.

“We did ask the chamber bureau to take it on, and they don’t have the bandwidth to do it," Wicks said.

"And then the county was looking at possibly saving it, and unfortunately they don’t have the bandwidth to do it either. So unfortunately that event will be going away.”

She said one of the biggest problems was finding sponsors. Balloon launches were often delayed or canceled because of poor weather conditions, which pushed some sponsors to ask for their money back.

The event started in the 1980s and ran for several years before a 20-year hiatus. It officially returned in 2014 and has occurred every September since.

The annual showcase included roughly two dozen hot air balloons rising from the North 40 fields in front of thousands of spectators, and a Saturday night candlestick event on Main Street.

Wicks said they’re now working on an exit plan which includes notifying sponsors and managing leftover assets.