Fired up

Steve Mroz uses the burner on his hot-air balloon to help inflate the balloon as he pulls it, and the basket, to a standing position Sept. 24, 2021, while setting up for the New Haven Balloon Glow Festival. This year’s festival is scheduled for Sept. 23-24 at the city park.

With 18 balloons scheduled to brighten New Haven’s skies Saturday, the New Haven Chamber of Commerce is expecting several thousand people to fill the City Park this weekend for the 33rd year of the balloon race and glow.

Chamber President Tony Carosella said he anticipates a similar turnout to last year of about 3,000 people for the race, which was a rebound for the event after high winds and the COVID-19 pandemic grounded balloons in 2019 and 2020. He said the number of balloons would be similar to previous years, too.