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Labor Day Lift Off honors founder, Dewey Reinhard

Labor Day Lift Off
Labor Day Lift Off
Posted at 7:00 PM, Sep 02, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-05 19:19:50-04

The 47th annual Labor Day Lift Off started on Friday in Colorado Springs. Many people arrived at Memorial Park at 5 a.m. to watch a drone show and see more than 70 hot air balloons take off.

Labor Day Lift Off wouldn't exist without its founder, Dewey Reinhard. Reinhard passed away earlier this summer at the age of 93. Reinhard was known as Dewey, “The Father Of Ballooning”, and also grandpa.

Daniel Reinhard, one of Dewey's grandsons.

“He was the type of man that made dreams come true,” Reinhard said.

“You know he always wanted to teach you something, to be in the balloon with him he would put the burner in your hands and it would be in your control”

Daniel said his grandfather introduced him to the ballooning community.

“Growing up with them I've never felt more welcome to a community anywhere in my life,” Daniel said.

On Friday, before the start of labor day lift off, a celebration of Reinhard was held.

Many of the people that spoke he spent years ballooning with shared their memories. They spoke of his love for his family, ballooning and Colorado Springs.

“It was really an adventure in everything he did, the community was the key thing for him. The people was the main reason for why he did this,” Daniel said.

Reinhard’s wife, son, and even great grandchildren were there to honor him.

"One time, I did tell him I did tell him, I wanted to be famous when I grow up and he said Wyatt you don't want to be famous when you grow up you want to be a good person. Because my grandpa Dewey, I don't think his goal was to be famous, his goal was to be a good person," Reinhard said.

Wyatt Reinhard is Dewey’s great grandson. Wyatt hopes to start flying balloons.

“I always thought that was my grandfather thing but now i have to carry on the legacy,” Wyatt said.

Wyatt said he will always remember listening to Reinhard's adventure stories.

“I could just sit there for hours and he would just tell me about his adventures and balloons and how much grandmother would chase him down in a car when he landed,” Wyatt said.

Daniel said labor day lift off is a perfect way for people to get out of their houses and experience something that you cant see everyday.

“The hard work is worth it. To be able to get people together. I don't think he expected it to get this big. I think it was a way for him to get his friend to town so he can host his friends the way he hosted them,” Daniel said.

The drone show, balloon lift off and balloon glow with happen on Sunday. Festivities go through Monday.

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