Hot Springs celebrates a third year with balloons in the sky

HOT SPRINGS, S.D. (KEVN) - Tthe crack of dawn brings out crowds of people in hot springs to witness a field of colorful balloons prepare to take flight.

"I think just the balloons themselves they bring an excitement, a lot of people are coming in to get up this early in the morning to come out and see that," said George Kotti, mayor of Hot Springs.

18 of the hot air balloons were lit this year at the city's municipal airport as a kickoff to an eventful weekend. "Two years ago we won the best airport in South Dakota, there's a good opportunity to showcase that. There's a lot of events going on in town so it's an exciting weekend for our community," Kotti continued.

Pilots anxiously ignited their light weight aircraft and one by one releasing them into the sky.

We got visitor reactions after the launch.

"I like to see them fill the balloons up and then see them just gently float away. It's really neat to see."

"It's a very cool experience i recommend it if you want to come out next year ... A whole lot of balloons they look really pretty. "

“All of a sudden they go one direction and back the other direction and fly right over your head and the flame going up through the balloon, iit was pretty awesome”

"They are a lot bigger than what you would anticipate too. It's really cool because your teen feet from them you know and it's incredible to see them go up in the air."

Some left optimistic that the event will continue to soar.

"It's a big event and we think every year that it's going to expand and be more far reaching."

"It's just going to be something we're going to really look forward to year after year."

For all full list of events at the Fall River Festival,visit