While the Telluride Balloon Festival is one of the smaller festivals, it is arguably the most beautiful of the season. Weather permitting, over a dozen hot air balloons launch from Town Park on the east end of town and sail down the valley landing about one mile out of town. The balloons launch at sunrise (between 6:45 and 7 am) and bystanders often get to help with the launch -- and get a ride to boot!
On the last night of the festival, the balloon pilots inflate their balloons along Main Street and fire up the propane for the "Glow". This is a beautiful and incredibly unique sight.
All of the events are subject to weather conditions -- The box canyon is a very tricky place to fly as we are surrounded by the San Juan Mountains. But if you are lucky enough to get a chance to experience the flight of the balloons, it is an unparalleled moment. This event is entirely free; remember to bring your camera!