Up in the Air Balloon Festival

The skyline will be a colorful one this weekend at the 2011 Up in the Air Balloon Festival kicks off. One very special pilot shared his story with Pronews 7 and why this festival is one of his favorites.

From a young age, Michael Glen knew that being a hot air balloon pilot was what he was meant to do.

"I've been involved with balloons my whole life, first ride in a balloon was two weeks old. I was involved in a single car rollover at 21 years old that left me paralyzed from the waist down and set a goal of becoming a balloon pilot," said Glen.

Glen is the first paraplegic pilot in the world. Taking his passion for hot air balloons and overcoming lifes obstacles, he travels the world speaking to students and flying his unique balloon.

Despite traveling to place like New Zealand and Russia, he says his favorite is the "Up in the Air" Balloon Festival.

"Flying out of Palo Duro Canyon is probably one of my top favorite flights."

"There's nothing like being thousand feet in the air look between your feet and see the ground below you, it's not often you get to do that," said Glen.

The festival kicked off at the Don Harrington Discovery Center at 6:00 p.m. Friday, free to the public. The balloons will light their fire burners and light up like light bulbs. Balloons in the festival will also take part in a mass ascension at sunrise Saturday from High Plains Children's Home, and at sunrise Sunday from Palo Duro Canyon State Park.