PHOTOS: A dozen hot air balloon pilots were in the air over Battle Creek Saturday to thank those working during the pandemic.
The flight was part of a world-wide effort by balloon pilots to honor front-line workers.
Called "Lifting Spirits Around the World," the flights were to say to front-line workers "that we are all very grateful and thankful for them," according to Tom Brown, one of the organizers of the Battle Creek flight.
The pilots assembled before sunrise Saturday at the Battle Creek Veterans Affairs Medical Center at 5500 Armstrong Road, and launched around 8 a.m. into light winds.
Brown, of Plainwell, said he and Derrick Jones began planning the event about a month ago.
The flights were proposed by Matt Guthrie, president of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.
The Fiesta, which normally begins the first weekend in October, was cancelled like most balloon festivals and competitions around the world – including the Battle Creek Field of Flight Air Show and Balloon Festival – because of COVID-19.